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B-L Ambulance District makes number of key policy changes

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Barry-Lawrence Ambulance District Board Directors made several policy changes during its October meeting.

Two changes focused on personnel. A new policy was adopted on absentees from work. Rather than maintain the loose practice of verbal warnings, the new policy established written warnings for absences.

In addition, the board approved ending the requirement of having annual tuberculosis testing for staff members. According to Office Manager Jeaneittia Pierce, southwest Missouri has been deemed a low risk area for TB. Tests in the future will be required for hiring and as situations warrant.

An accounting change was approved. Accountant Dawnata Hopkins, with The CPA Group, which conducts the annual audit of the district, recommended removing old unpaid bills from the accountant receivable ledger to provide a clearer record of money the district can expect to see paid.

Pierce will continue to track bills that are at least 120 days old or ones that have been turned over to a collection agency. The figures will not be viewed as part of the regular accounts receivable ledger.

In other action, board members agreed to seek bids for services of a collection agency. Pierce said the practice had not been bid in several years.

Tommy's Turf was hired to provide lawn mowing services for the 2012 mowing season. Tommy's Turf maintains lawns around the district office and provided positive references, Pierce said.

For September, crews made 235 runs, the busiest September in the past seven years. Runs are up by more than 12 percent for the first three quarters of 2011.

A total of 157 patients were transported. Of those, 46 went to Cox Monett Hospital, 67 to Springfield hospitals, five to Joplin hospitals, seven to St. John's Hospital-Aurora, one to St. John's Hospital-Cassville, 10 to nursing facilities, seven to helicopter landing zones and six to Monett schools.

Crews picked up seven transports from other services in September. Six runs were turned over to other services.

Overtime pay for the month dropped for two of the three pay periods. In addition to 320 hours of scheduled overtime, the district paid 94 hours of unplanned overtime plus 56 hours for standby services, for which the district is compensated.

Staff made two public relations appearances in September. A crew visited with kindergarten to third grade students at Trinity Lutheran School in Freistatt and spoke to them about their work and the equipment they use. Students from the health occupations class at the Southwest Area Career Center toured the district station to view the resources used and ask about career details.

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