EMS soon will be without a hospital emergency room where crews transport a large percentage of patients, and the loss is expected to significantly affect its operations.

First responders with the city-parish’s Department of Emergency Medical Services made nearly 10,000 trips to Baton Rouge General Medical Center’s Mid City campus in 2014.

The total, 9,728 transports, represented 30 percent of all EMS transports in 2014. EMS made 33,705 total transports in 2014, said Mike Chustz, an EMS spokesman.

Because Mid City’s ER is scheduled to close within the next two months, EMS likely is to be forced to make changes to its operations. Ambulance crews will have longer transports to get some patients to an emergency room and could get tied up waiting to transfer them from the ambulance into the ER.

“This could add a little more demand to us and, down the road, we may have to look at adding another ambulance or two to facilitate these transport times,” Chustz said.

The remaining ERs at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Baton Rouge General Medical Center — Bluebonnet, Ochsner Medical Center and Lane Regional Medical Center will be left to fill the void created by the closure of Mid City’s ER.

Ascension Sheriff Wiley won’t run for Senate

Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley says he’ll seek a sixth term as the parish’s top law enforcement officer this fall.

Rumored for months to be mulling a run for the seat of term-limited State Sen. Jody Amedee, R-Gonzales, Wiley told about 40 command-level deputies at a staff meeting last week that he’d seek re-election as sheriff if they would embrace his candidacy.

Wiley brushed off the talk of running for state Senate.

“I know where my lane is, my passion, and it’s right here,” said Wiley, who first took office as sheriff in 1996.

The election is Oct. 24.

State Rep. Eddie J. Lambert, R-Gonzales, is seeking Amedee’s seat this fall.

Former Rep. ‘Juba’ Diez to join Hall of Famers

Former state Rep. John “Juba” Diez will be among six people inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum’s Hall of Fame on Saturday in Winnfield — the first political figure from Ascension Parish to receive the honor. Diez served as representative for the parish for 28 years, from 1976 to 2004.

The museum’s executive director, Carolyn R. Phillips, said others to be honored on Saturday are Charles “Peppi” Bruneau Jr., former state representative for Orleans Parish, from 1976-2007; Attorney General Buddy Caldwell; Noble Ellington, a longtime state legislator from Franklin Parish; the late John Maginnis, honored posthumously as a journalist and author of “The Last Hayride”; and the late Charles “Corky” Marvin, honored posthumously as a judge of the state’s 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal.

Created by the state Legislature in 1987, the Louisiana Political Museum is housed in the old railroad depot on Main Street in Winnfield. It was chosen as the site for the museum because it’s been the hometown of three Louisiana governors: Huey P. Long, Earl K. Long and O.K. Allen.

EBR Sheriff’s Office campaigns for prison

The lack of a May election for public safety tax projects, including a new prison, hasn’t stopped the Sheriff’s Office from trying to persuade the public a new prison is still badly needed.

During a media tour of the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison this week, prison officials pointed out rusty and corroded showers, chipped paint, leaky ceilings and gates that easily break, among other problems.

The Sheriff’s Office joined with the mayor earlier this year to ask for a new tax that would have paid for a new, larger prison among other public safety improvements.

The Metro Council kicked back the plan to the mayor and sheriff, saying they wanted to explore other options before asking taxpayers to shell out money for a more than $200 million new prison and other improvements. Since then, the plan has lost momentum.

Still, Prison Warden Dennis Grimes led media members through the maze of a prison this week, pointing to a long list of maintenance and security concerns that could be solved with the construction of a new prison.

For now, though, the public safety tax proposal appears to be on hold.


Advocate staff writers Ben Wallace, David Mitchell, Ellyn Couvillion and Andrea Gallo contributed to this report.