Approval of the annual audit and equipment upgrades were major actions taken by the Barry-Lawrence Ambulance District Board of Directors at their September meeting.
Dawnata Hopkins, accountant with The CPA Group in Monett, presented the audit of the district's finances for calendar year and fiscal year 2008. No concerns were cited, and the district's finances appeared in good shape. The audit was approved as presented.
Board members voted to upgrade the Zoll monitors on the ambulances to add Bluetooth capabilities, enabling ambulance crews to transmit data to hospitals prior to arrival. The upgrade will help the district progress with state standards on handling strokes and heart attack cases, where data transmission is being required.
During August, ambulance crews made 217 runs, the second highest for any month this year and the busiest August in five years.
Of the 170 patients transferred, 67 went to Cox Monett Hospital, 55 went to Springfield hospitals, nine went to Joplin hospitals, and six each went to hospitals in Cassville and Aurora. Ten went to area nursing homes, nine to helicopter landing zones, four to patients' homes and four to more distant medical facilities.
Three calls were picked up from other ambulance services during the month. Six calls were transferred to other services due to both on-duty ambulances having been dispatched to other calls at the time.
Crews attended seven public relations functions during the month. These included four stand-bys at the Monett Speedway and appearances at events for the Purdy FFA, Monett Middle School and Monett Senior Center.
The financial report showed receipts received have run almost $34,400 ahead of last year. Overtime continues to be a concern, with the district paying 626.5 hours in overtime for the two pay periods in August.
Andy McCaslin, education director, reported on plans to start two First Responder classes in October. McCaslin also detailed what he has put on the district's new website, including general information and contact numbers. The website, which can be found at barrylawrenceambulance.com, has more details for employees about continuing education, modules on procedures such as standing orders and how to do specific medical procedures and standing orders.
Former board member Deborah Schoen addressed the board about issues arising from the dispute between the city of Monett and Barry and Lawrence counties over property tax income. The district has a stake in the dispute over tax increment financing. Schoen previously served on the district's committee that dealt with tax increment financing issues.