Another Metro Emergency Medical Services employee has been fired after failing a drug test.
LOUISVILLE, KY – Robert Gant was fired Sept. 23 after he submitted to a mandatory drug test that all EMS employees are undergoing in the wake of some recent drug-related discipline in the agency.
According to Gant’s termination letter, he tested positive for marijuana. Gant was an emergency medical technician who joined the service in August 2005.
Gant was one of five employees who had been suspended without pay in July while under a Louisville Metro Police investigation that involved allegations about “the distribution/illegal use of controlled substances,” according to his suspension letter.
As part of that investigation, Gant submitted to a drug test, but nothing was detected, said Dr. Neal Richmond, head of Metro EMS.
Four of the employees, including Gant, were cleared of the allegations against them by police and Gant was cleared to return to work on Aug. 31. The fifth employee, Joseph Bratcher, was fired Aug. 9 when he tested positive for marijuana in his drug test.
Once Gant returned to work, he was given a drug test on Sept. 14 as part of the Metro EMS effort to screen all employees. That’s when he tested positive for marijuana, according to his termination letter.
Metro EMS began the screening in response to several incidents involving drugs, including the suspension of the five employees, the August firing of a major and a drunken-driving incident involving another employee.
On Aug. 8, Maj. Roger Parvin was fired for policy violations involving the handling of controlled substances. An internal investigation into Parvin began after he was involved in a rollover accident in his department vehicle.
That investigation led to the discovery of 180 missing vials of controlled substances that were expiring and that Parvin was in charge of having destroyed in his role, managing the department’s controlled substances.
When questioned about the missing vials, Parvin admitted they were at his home. EMS officials went to retrieve the vials, but not all of the vials were found.
He was fired and Louisville Metro Police are continuing to investigate the case for possible criminal violations.
In another case, Alex Brown was arrested on July 16 and charged with drunken-driving while he was off duty. He was involved in a non-injury accident observed by a sheriff’s deputy and cited after failing field sobriety tests.
Brown was suspended after the arrest and then took a leave of absence from the service.
Richmond said the service instituted an “aggressive policy” on drug testing to try to weed out abuse by his employees providing medical services. In addition to the testing, Richmond said the service is trying to revamp some policies to create a better process for self-reporting addiction or drug abuse.
“We’re digging in really deeply,” he said. “We’re intentionally rooting it out and finding it.”