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franklin county times

EMT arrested following transport

A local ambulance service employee was arrested on Tuesday after authorities said she failed a field sobriety test following the transport of a patient.

Pleasant Bay Ambulance Service employee Gina Jones, 38, of Franklin 25 in Red Bay, was arrested on charges of reckless endangerment and public intoxication, Russellville Police Chief Chris Hargett said.

According to Hargett, the Russellville Police Department received a call morning Tuesday stating Jones had helped with the transport of a patient to an area hospital and that she appeared to be under the influence of some type of substance that wasn’t alcohol.

Hargett said when officers arrived on the scene, they performed a routine field sobriety test on Jones.

Hargett said Jones failed the test and was arrested at that time.

Jones consented to a blood test, and Hargett said the blood has been sent to forensics to determine what substances were in her system at the time of her arrest.

Jones, who is the daughter of Pleasant Bay owner Elzie Malone, is a part-time emergency medical technician with the company.

Malone said Jones has been placed on leave pending the result of the forensic analysis, but Malone said Jones denies that she was under the influence of any substance at the time of her arrest.

“This is nothing more than a set-up to try to smear my company’s name,” Malone said. “It’s all for show.”

Malone said his company has submitted a bid to secure a contract from the Franklin County Commission to be the county’s sole ambulance provider under the county’s newly adopted ambulance ordinance.

He alleged the arrest of one of his employees was just a way to keep the commission from awarding his company the bid.

“There is absolutely no proof that she was under the influence,” Malone said.

“Someone just suggested that she was stumbling when she walked, so they arrested her based on a suggestion.

“And the field sobriety test is a joke. Anyone can fail a field sobriety test at any given time.”

Tuscumbia attorney Billy Underwood has been representing Pleasant Bay Ambulance Service during the ongoing process to secure the contract for ambulance services for the county.

Underwood said Jones’ behavior Tuesday morning could be attributed to a medical condition.

“Ms. Jones has to take four diabetic shots per day and she hadn’t taken her shot that morning,” Underwood said.

“It was a diabetic reaction that made her walk slower and talk slower.”

Underwood said Jones voluntarily submitted to two blood analyses and a urine analysis. Malone said they would be having their own forensic tests completed.

“For some reason, they just don’t want us to be able to get the ambulance contract and this is just a way to smear our name right before they vote on the bids,” Malone said.

“This whole thing isn’t right. It’s nothing more than communism to make the citizens have only one option for an ambulance service, and now this is happening.”

Jones was released from custody on a property bond.