Shelby Co. EMS say company sold faulty stretchers

By Holley Nees - bio | email

CENTER, TX (KTRE) - Nearly $22,000 dollars worth of medical equipment. Jessie Griffith says it's useless.

"We've had a couple of instances where the stretcher has fallen with patients on them and has hurt our medics to keep it from falling to the ground," said Jessie Griffith of Northeast Texas EMS Supervisor.

They've had the stretchers for about a year, but they quit using them months ago.

"Just a few months after we bought the stretchers, we had problems with the total wheel assembly breaking off the stretcher and had to order new wheels, said Griffith.   "We had cables breaking."

He says it takes three people to get the stretcher to raise and lower.  The problem is he only sends out two paramedics to each call.

"We had to take those stretchers off of the trucks for the last four months and use borrowed stretchers from the Lufkin Fire Department," said Griffith.

The Northeast Texas EMS Paramedics say it's frustrating when you average about 800 calls a month.

"We are the only 911 service for Shelby and San Augustine County.  We have no back up," Griffith said.

"When we deal with people in emergencies, primarily, we teach all the medics to remain calm and when you become frustrated, then you lose that calm.  Once you lose that calm, then you kind of lost any of your credibility with your patient," said Shon Cooper an EMS Supervisor.

Griffith says the stretcher that monster medic incorporated gave them to try out seemed to work fine, but the five they were sent have only been trouble.

"At one point about four months ago, they told me that they were going to send another stretcher up here, upgraded stretcher for us to try out to see if that would work.  Since that time, they have not answered any phone calls, haven't answered any emails, and we haven't seen the stretcher," said Griffith.

He says they're supposed to have a three-year warranty and he just wants the company to take them back.

"They told me that we had to return them within the first three months in the original packaging that we got them in," Griffith said.

But, the paramedics say the issue goes beyond wanting a refund.

"It could be the difference between life and death several times," said Griffith. "We should feel comfortable that if we put a patient on that stretcher, it's not going to fall."

Griffith says especially when you're transporting critically ill patients.

KTRE contacted Monster Medic, Incorporated and they say the stretchers are beyond the return policy.  A spokesperson for the company says they are limited by the warranty and return policies that are in place.

But, he claims the owner has reached out to Griffith, but has heard nothing back.  He says the return policy states unused, undamaged equipment can be returned in the package before 180 days is up for a full refund.

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