BMH now equipped to test and certify breath alcohol levels
Breath Alcohol Testing has been an issue for agencies whose employees are required to have these tests done randomly, or on a regularly scheduled basis, but Blue Mountain Hospital can now help solve this problem.
According to Stacey Meeks, Laboratory Manager for Blue Mountain Hospital, the issue involves transportation and time. Employees working for agencies involved with safety sensitive jobs, such as life flight crews and other FAA employees, motor carriers, railroad workers, and others have to be tested randomly. Pipeline and Hazmat workers, and even members of the United States Coast Guard, have to be tested periodically on a scheduled basis. Anyone in this area needing Breath Alcohol Testing have had to travel to Cortez, Colorado and spend time there getting tested. This has posed a problem for these agencies and their employees, but BMH now has a solution to this issue.
Meeks announced that as of Friday, September 6, her department at BMH is now able to conduct Breath Alcohol tests for these agencies. Meeks explained that one of her Lab Techs, Jonathan Brewer, has completed an extensive training course to qualify as a certified Breath Alcohol Techni- cian. He also qualified as a Breath Alcohol Trainer, meaning he can now train all the members of the BMH Lab team and certify them to be Breath Alcohol Technicians.
“We got involved with this because Guardian Flight (an air ambulance service that works with the BMH doing life flights for patients needing transport), asked if we could do this. Their employees have to be randomly tested and every time they are, they have had to go to Cortez. They asked if we could become certified so they could come here and be tested instead of traveling all the way to Cortez,” Meeks elaborated. “Now that Jon is trained to do testing, and as a trainer, he can train all of us and we can make this service available to anyone in the area who needs it.”
Meeks also noted that although the testing is now available, until all the lab staff is fully trained, Brewer is the only one who can do the testing. She said anyone needing the tests done, for now, should call ahead and make sure Jonathan Brewer will be there. However, she said getting the lab staff certified will begin as soon as possible.
It will take time to certify everyone because the testing process is extensive. But it won’t be long until agencies, businesses and other individuals needing a Breath Alcohol test can have it done at Blue Mountain Hospital.