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Ambulance District welcomes new members, retains officers

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Board of Directors of the Barry-Lawrence Ambulance District reorganized and retained its leaders at its monthly meeting in April.

Sworn in at the meeting were Sarah Jarvis, newly elected director from District 3, representing the Lawrence County portion of Monett extending north to Freistatt, and Howard Kuhnert from District 6. Kuhnert has represented one of the Barry County districts in Monett for eight-and-a-half years.

Board members voted to keep District 5 director, Daryl Fenski, as president and District 4 director, Marty Newman, as vice president.

Administrative action

A new protocol was adopted based on a policy proposal for dealing with runs where patients are treated at the scene but no transportation is required. The board voted to place a monetary fee of $100 on such calls with an all-inclusive use of supplies.

Office Manager Jeaneittia Pierce said charging when patients are treated but not transported has been considered for years. A recent check found other ambulance services charge for basic services, such as bandages or treating a blood sugar imbalance. With the rising number of no-transport calls, board members decided it was time to set a policy.

The amount was based on the kinds of minimal care provided in past cases. Pierce said more significant care, such as the administrative of narcotics, would require transportation by ambulance to a hospital.

The board voted to renew the current health insurance policy through Anthem for June 15 through June 14, 2012. The district pays all of the employee premium and half of the premium for employee dependents. Total cost for insurance increased by approximately one-half percent for the coming year.

Employees will also be able to choose between four supplemental insurance options. Liberty National was added to options added through Aflac, Vision Direct and Pre-Paid Legal Services Inc.

At the board's March meeting, worker's compensation coverage was renewed through Missouri Rural Services Insurance for April 1 through March 31, 2012. The premium of $16,201 represented a 35 percent increase over the previous year.

A proposal from Monett Speedway to continue standby service at races was also approved at a flat fee of $175 per event.

Board members also voted to budget $1,000 to recognized Emergency Medical Services Week, which will be marked May 15 through May 21.

Ambulance activity

Crews made 189 runs in February and 203 in March. The total of the first quarter of 2011 is up six runs from the start of 2010.

Of the 157 runs completed in March, 53 patients went to Cox Monett Hospital, 55 to Springfield hospitals, 17 to Joplin hospitals, eight to St. John's Hospital-Aurora and four to St. John's Hospital-Cassville. Eight patients went to area nursing homes, three went to more distant facilities, five went to helicopter landing zones for transport and four went to their homes.

One run was picked up from another service and three were turned over to other ambulances when calls came in while both rigs were on runs.

In February, the 144 completed runs involved taking 48 patients to Cox Monett Hospital, 47 to Springfield hospitals, seven to Joplin hospitals, six to St. John's Hospital-Aurora and three to St. John's Hospital-Cassville. Crews took seven patients to local nursing homes and six to helicopter landing zones.

Crews picked up four runs from other services and turned over two.

The administration made significant progress in reducing paid overtime. In February, the district paid 66 hours in overtime plus 212.5 hours for standby service on top of the 160 hours of scheduled overtime per pay period. In March, extra overtime was cut to under 30 hours with eight hours of standby time.

Staff employees earned 14 continuing education units in February and eight in March. Four employees attended an emergency medical technician refresher class at the Joplin Fire Department in March, earning 96 hours of credits.

The next board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on May 10 at the ambulance station at 307 Dairy St. in Monett.

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