The Board of the Barry-Lawrence Ambulance District voted to acquire equipment to improve service during its November meeting.
Board members agreed to buy four continuous positive airway pressure units, four portable suction devices and four ventilators. Total cost was $20,000.
According to office manager Jeaneittia Pierce, the purchase provided the first step toward having four fully equipped ambulances. In the past, the district has equipment to fully stock two units but not four, and has moved key pieces from vehicle to vehicle as needed. Having more units ready to roll will speed up response time and expand the district's potential to answer calls in peak periods, she said.
Pierce provided board members with a proposed budget for the 2012 fiscal year, beginning on Jan. 1, 2012, for consideration at the next board meeting on Dec. 13. Property tax revenue has fluctuated in recent years. Tax income dropped 7.5 percent in 2010 from the previous year, then rose almost .6 percent in 2011.
Latest valuation figures show revenue should rise almost 3.5 percent in 2012, giving the board more flexibility, Pierce said.
In other action, the board updated its policy on allowing students from Crowder College to ride along with crews as observers. The policy had not been changed for several years and expands the program to work better with the kinds of students presently taking classes at the college.
Final action was taken to revise the policy on infectious disease control, making testing for TB non-mandatory. Pierce said the step corresponded with the reclassification of southwest Missouri as a low-risk area for TB.
Crews made 250 runs in October, the largest number this year and the busiest October in seven years. The 10-month total of 2,250 surpassed 12-month totals for the previous six years.
Of the 186 patients transported, 52 went to Cox Monett Hospital, 91 went to Springfield hospitals, five went to Freeman Hospital in Joplin, seven went to Mercy Hospital-Aurora, one to Mercy Hospital-Cassville, 11 to nursing homes, six to helicopter landing zones, two to Skaggs Hospital in Carthage and one to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.
Crews turned four calls over to other services. Ten mutual aid calls were picked up, generating nearly $8,000 in charges. Six of those calls resulted in patient transports to Springfield, two to Aurora and one to Cassville.
Overtime paid by the district picked up in October. In addition to 320 hours of scheduled overtime, the district paid 124 hours of unplanned overtime.
In personnel action, the board voted to increase Pierce's pay to $50,000 a year, effective Nov. 27.
Staff picked up 12 hours of continuing education units through on-line study, reported education coordinator Andy McCaslin.
Crews participated in four public relations activities in October. A team worked a mock hazardous materials spill with the Monett Fire Department, visited two schools and handed out candy on Halloween.