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Ambulance board votes to pay off debt

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Barry-Lawrence Ambulance District board voted to pay off a debt and address several maintenance issues during its July and August meetings.

At the August meeting, the board moved to pay off the $58,081.56 standing loan taken out to pay for new ambulances. The loan had been secured with the district's savings as collateral.

The loan payoff was aided by an upbeat business picture. Though runs through July were four less than during the first seven months of 2008, revenues for the year to date are ahead of last year's pace by $41,240.

Board members also approved annual property tax levy at its ceiling for the coming tax cycle. The move will increase the levy from 12.31 cents last year to 12.33 cents this year. The levy should general $281,934 in property taxes.

At the board's July meeting, TEK Cleaning Company was selected out of two bidders for maintenance work at the ambulance station. TEK will strip the floor and apply four coats of wax for $485, plus floor buffing for $50 a month.

JMARK Business Solutions, of Springfield, was hired to install a firewall for the billing office computer. The cost will be approximately $4,500 and include encryption and transmission of off-site stage for approximately $30 a month.

In June, crews made 216 runs, nine fewer than a year earlier. Crews took 61 patients to Cox Monett Hospital, 68 to Springfield hospitals, 10 to Joplin hospitals, five each to hospitals in Cassville and Aurora and 14 to nursing homes. Six runs went to helicopter landing zones.

In July, crews made 213 runs, the highest number for the month in three years and 30 more than a year ago.

Crews again took 61 patients to Cox Monett Hospital, 62 to Springfield hospitals, three to Joplin hospitals, 12 to St. John's Hospital-Aurora and four to St. John's Hospital-Cassville. Five runs took patients to nursing homes, three to their own homes and seven to helicopter landing zones.

During July, crews provided standby service on four consecutive Sundays at the Monett Speedway.

Overtime remains a financial issue. For the two pay periods in June for the ambulance district, the district paid 650 hours in overtime. In the three pay periods in July, the district paid almost 815 hours of overtime.

Operations Manager Jim Liaromatis reported the district's education program offered three cardio-pulmonary resuscitation classes in June and two in July. The emergency medical technician class concluded in July. The EMT students participated in an eight-hour vehicle extrication class with the Monett Fire Department and Ed Jones Wrecker Service in June.

Training Officer Andy McCaslin has also been working on an internet website for the district, located at barrylawrenceambulance.com.



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