For the second time in approximately a year, the Lake Cumberland
District Health Department has approached Wayne County Fiscal Court
about establishing a needle exchange program here. And for the second
time, the group went away with no action taken.
Fiscal court heard the presentation during last week's meeting and
asked a number of questions regarding the program and its success in
the five lake-area counties where it is currently operated. When
County Judge-Executive Mike Anderson asked if there was a motion to
approve the program, magistrates did not take any action.
The needle exchange program requires approval of city and county
government, as well as the local district health board to begin
operation. The health board has approved it and Monticello City
Council approved it earlier this year.
Christine Weyman, who is the Medical Director for Lake Cumberland
District Health Department, made the presentation last Thursday,
noting that these programs are geared toward the spread of Hepatitis
C and HIV—prevalent among drug users. She noted that in the counties
where the program operates, dirty needles are brought in and
exchanged for clean ones.
At this point, Weyman said that the exchange is at about a one to
one ratio. The program is operated through local health departments
and is at no cost to any local government entity. She encouraged
magistrates to visit their website and view the real time data about
needle exchange that is occurring in the other counties.
She dispelled several myths that people seemed concerned about in
regard to the program. She stated that it does not increase drug
activity in a community, but it does reduce the spread of infection.
Several magistrates had questions for Weyman. District Three
Magistrate Dale Vaughn asked if this program serves as an enabler for
She replied that drug users would continue to use, but they would
use dirty needles without the option of getting clean needles.
District Four Magistrate Jonathan Dobbs and District Two Magistrate
Jeffrey Dishman both said they had been contacted by local residents
who were diabetics and had to purchase their own needles.
"Nobody pays for their needles," said Dishman.
Kentucky State Police Trooper Adam Dodson also addressed the court
regarding an issue that he said they needed to be aware of. He stated
that in July he was called to investigate a fatal, one-vehicle
accident on Highway 167. At the scene, Dodson said he requested that
an EMS worker draw blood from the driver of the vehicle. He said that
the EMS workers said they could not do that because it was not in
their policies and procedures.
The driver was injured and was transported to the local hospital and
loaded onto a helicopter to be flown to Lexington. Since he was not a
patient at the hospital, Dodson that hospital officials could not do
the blood draw. Flight crew members on the helicopter could not do
the blood draw.
He stated that he had a trooper meeting the helicopter in Lexington.
Blood was drawn from the driver after more than three hours had
passed, Dodson told the court. He stated that under KRS statute blood
drawn more than two hours after the accident could not be admitted
for D.U.I. charges.
Several members of the victim's family attended the meeting, though
none of them addressed the court. Dodson said he understand that EMS
could not violate their policies and procedures, but he asked that
the court look into the situation.
Dodson stated that EMS workers in neighboring McCreary County were
allowed to do blood draws in these types of situations.
Wayne County EMS Director Bubby Corder addressed the situation later
in the meeting, when he gave his report to the court. He stated that
ambulance services that operate in counties where there is a hospital
do not do this type of testing, since a local facility is available.
McCreary County does not have a hospital, he pointed out.
He stated that in order to do blood draws, EMS workers would have to
receive special training. There would also have to do testing in a
Corder stated that the first priority for Wayne County EMS is
Magistrates approved the Rural and Municipal Aid Discretionary
funding agreement with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. The
county has been awarded $431,000 in discretionary funds for
The roads included are: Shaw Valley, Red Bud Lane, Green Ford,
Anderson Cemetery Road, Burnett Hollow, Tuggle Hollow, Old Saw Mill
Road, Cave Lake, Kelly Lane-Spann Hill and Deer Run Road.
In other action, the court:
• Agreed to purchase two tractors and two mower decks for the county
road department and authorized Anderson to enter into a purchase
agreement with a lending institution.
• Approved the reappointment of Chris Kendrick to the Airport Board
for a four year term and the reappointment of Calvin McFarland to the
Telecommunications Board for a four year term.
• Approved hiring Roger Guffey at $10 her hour at the county road
• Heard a report on tax rates for the library and the health
• Heard a monthly report from Jailer Ronnie Ellis who said that the
current population at the jail is 216, which includes 148 state
inmates and 68 county inmates. The county billed the state
$146,984.60 for housing inmates in July.
• Heard a monthly report from Wayne County Solid Waste Coordinator
Tim Bell who said that white goods were collected at 75 houses in
July, bringing the total for the year to 523.
• Heard a monthly report from Wayne County EMS Director Bubby Corder who said that the ambulance service answered 280 calls in July bringing the total to 1,847 for the year.