Audrey Ferguson Charged With Calling Ambulances for Free Rides
Audrey Ferguson has been accused of faking illnesses in Dorchester County, South Carolina, in order to get free ambulance rides to downtown Charleston, South Carolina.
The Dorchester County Sheriff's Office told WCSC-TV that Ferguson has called an ambulance at least 100 times in the last seven years.
"She'll have a vague medical complaint, for instance abdominal pain," explained Dorchester County EMS Director Doug Warren. "She has medical complaints that are legitimate, and so until she's been evaluated and determined not to be sick we have to assume she is."
Apparently after seven years of these trips, authorities were getting suspicious because Ferguson never stayed in the hospital to get treated.
"We transport her to one of the area hospitals and then oftentimes before we can get our paperwork completed she's signed out from the hospital and gone on to do other things," said Warren.
According to a police report, a Dorchester County deputy was waiting at Trident Medical Center for an ambulance carrying Ferguson on April 2. The deputy overheard Ferguson tell a nurse that she was feeling okay and called her son to come pick her up.
Ferguson was arrested and given a free trip by law enforcement to the Dorchester County jail.
Ferguson reportedly told law enforcement authorities that she didn't have a car and ambulances were the only way that she could travel.
Ferguson said Medicaid paid for it, which turned out to be $425 a trip. The portion of the bill that Medicaid doesn't pay for comes to more than $400,000 for local taxpayers.
She was charged with unlawful use of 911 and filing a false police report.
EMS officials are concerned that while ambulances were giving Ferguson rides, there may have been delays in helping people who were in serious need.