CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Indiana Department of Homeland Security investigators have wrapped up a part of an investigation into the county's largest fire department and only emergency medical services provider.
The investigations started after the state received multiple complaints of misconduct in both agencies back in 2014.
In July a FOX19 NOW investigation delved into those allegations. They included claims that the county's Emergency Management Director faked CPR and fire training records and that the EMS director certified a doctored medical training record.
IDHS released its findings this week and hit SCEMS with multiple violations of Indiana's EMS regulations. The violations earned SCEMS a two year probation, further auditing through 2017 and skills assessments of all Switzerland County medical staffers trained through SCEMS.
WHAT INVESTIGATORS FOUND
In June 2014, IDHS received the first of several complaints, alleging SCEMS officials were not following the law in how it maintained records and the operation of the county's lone EMS agency. The IDHS report shows the most detailed complaint went to Indianapolis in July 2014.
The July 2014 complaint was filed by Rob Stockmeier, a man fired by SCEMS Director Randy See on June 14, 2014. Email records filed with IDHS shows See fired Stockmeier the same day Stockmeier emailed See, requesting a meeting with the SCEMS board over Stockmeier's belief the department had violated its own policies and Indiana law.
Stockmeier was working for See as the SCEMS paramedic at the time. Stockmeier is currently working at the Harrison, Ohio Fire and EMS department.
See fired Stockmeier over email, writing, "Your employment with Switzerland County EMS is terminated as of 6-14-14." The email is signed, "Randy See, Director Switzerland County EMS.
Days later, Stockmeier filed a formal complaint with IDHS but the investigator's records show Stockmeier would not provide further documentation and information to IDHS so investigators could finish their investigation into SCEMS and Stockmeier's complaints.
In August 2014, IDHS records show three inspectors went to SCEMS to conduct audits related to Stockmeier's allegations. That audit resulted in multiple violations for the SCEMS.
In August 2015, IDHS inspectors went back to SCEMS to conduct a follow up inspection and the investigator found three more violations. In total, inspectors detailed 13 separate violations of the state's EMS regulations.
Those violations included violations of failing to maintain proper documentation of training, evaluations, sanitation procedures, daily checklists and failing to have the SCEMS medical director on hand for the 2014 and 2015 audits.
None of the violations appear to involve allegations that SCEMS fabricated training records. Investigators did question SCEMS officials regarding those allegations, but the report states, Randy See told investigators the complainant "was indeed lying."
In an order handed down by IDHS on Nov. 6, the state placed SCEMS on probation for two years after the agency formally charged SCEMS with violating six separate regulations between 2014 and 2015. IDHS wrote in its order, SCEMS "failed to comply with and maintain compliance with rules adopted under Indiana Code."
The order also provides options for IDHS to revoke SCEMS' license to perform EMS services in the state for "failure to comply with a condition" of the IDHS order through 2017.
IDHS also told SCEMS in the order that it could seek "any other remedies or sanctions available" to the agency under Indiana law if SCEMS committed any further violations.
IDHS INVESTIGATORS NOT FINISHED WITH SWITZERLAND COUNTY
The EMS probe is not the only agency IDHS investigators are working on in Switzerland County. In July, the agency opened an investigation into the Jeff Craig Volunteer Fire Department after allegations were reported to the state of misconduct related to fire training there.
Those allegations include multiple claims that JCVFD Chief Chris See fabricated and "pencil whipped" training records for firefighters. The complaints to IDHS investigators also included statements that Chris See faked dozens of CPR certifications for several people in and out of the JCVFD.
IDHS's report shows investigators interviewed Chris See during the 2015 investigation. Investigators questioned Chris See about the CPR cards. See, the report shows, admitted to investigators that he did print the CPR cards. Those cards went to multiple people inside and outside of the county's EMS and fire services—multiple people told FOX19 they'd never signed up for the course.
See, the report shows, explained to the investigator that he "was going to try and get everyone on the same date so he printed all the cards for the entire department and set the class up." See said the class was canceled twice.
The CPR cards See printed still contained the dates of the original class.
"He said the cards were in his office and that he did give out a few of the cards to people that took a CPR class," the investigator wrote in his report. "The other cards remained in his office until someone took them," See is reported as having told the investigator.
See resigned his Switzerland County Emergency Management Director position in August. County commissioner Josh South would not provide specifics as to why See resigned, citing "personal reasons" as the reason for the resignation.
Chris See remains the chief of the JCVFD.
We did not reach Chris See as part of this update because in our last attempt, See responded through email, "Please stop contacting me via email and cell phone." We were not able to find him after a ground search for him Monday morning in Vevay.
We reached out to SCEMS Director Randy See Monday morning, asking for an interview concerning the IDHS report. We asked See for an interview as he walked through the SCEMS parking lot. See did not respond when asked for an interview and got into his SUV and drove away.
As of this report, Randy See has not responded.
IDHS confirmed for FOX19, there is still an open investigation into the allegations that fire training records were fabricated at the JCVFD. IDHS did not provide a timeline on when that investigation could finish.