EMT accused of working while intoxicated - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

EMT accused of working while intoxicated

Gina Jones (Source: Russellville Police Department) Gina Jones (Source: Russellville Police Department)
RUSSELLVILLE, AL (WAFF) - An emergency worker faces charges after police said she was working while intoxicated.

Gina Jones, 38, of Red Bay, is charged with public intoxication and reckless endangerment. The two charges are both misdemeanors and are punishable by fines and jail time if convicted.

Police said they got a tip from a firefighter who provided assistance to a call, stating his concerns. According to Russellville Police Chief Chris Hargett, Jones was arrested Tuesday at the Russellville Hospital, where she was assisting in transporting a patient.

Hargett said Jones was given a field sobriety test, which she failed. After she was arrested, blood was drawn to be tested and to determine what substance was in her system.

Hargett said it was "not alcohol," and authorities said Jones appeared to be under the influence of some type of narcotic medication.

Jones is the daughter of Elzie Malone, the owner of Pleasant Bay Ambulance Service, according to officials. Jones is an Emergency Medical Technician with Pleasant Bay Ambulance Service.

Jones' attorney said Jones is diabetic and was not impaired, but was in the beginning stages of a diabetic reaction. They ran a third-party blood test after she was released from jail on a property bond.

Billy Underwood claims it's a diversion that ties back to the ambulance service provider bid that's now open in the county that Pleasant Bay and others are competing over.

"If you're a police officer and you stop somebody and you think they're intoxicated, do you tell them to continue on, drive your car to the police station and then we'll arrest you? Which is what happened in this case," Underwood said. "The firemen allowed Pleasant Bay, if they thought she was impaired, to carry this woman all the way to Russellville to check her in and then have the police arrest her for being impaired."

Elzie Malone said he feels railroaded by the situation, and would never jeopardize patient care.

Jones has been placed on leave while the case is ongoing.

The incident has raised questions about what you should do if you have concerns or suspect a first responder or officer is under the influence. Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver - who is not directly connected to the above-mentioned case - said impaired officers or first responders can put co-workers and community members in danger, and you should report it as you would any other case.

Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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