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Ambulance board has selected new medical director

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Board of Directors for the Barry-Lawrence Ambulance District selected a new medical director for 2012 during its December meeting.

Board members picked Dr. Scott Freeland, who works in the emergency room at Cox Monett Hospital, to serve as medical director at a contract fee of $3,600. The other bid came from Dr. Victor Mangler, of Monett, who practices at St. John's Hospital-Cassville.

Five bids came in on the board's request for a collection agency. NCO, of Springfield, retained the contract to collect delinquent claims. Office manager Jeaneittia Pierce said only two of the bidders came from Missouri, the other operating out of St. Louis.

Board members passed the proposed budget for 2012 as presented. The major ingredient included a 3.47 percent pay raise for staff.

One item discussed for several months that would involve a major financial commitment has been establishing a second ambulance station. Board chairman Daryl Fenski has urged consideration of another location outside of Monett to speed responses to more remote calls. Pierce said board members have found the idea worthy of continued discussion, particularly since retiring the debt on the current station.

In other action, the board agreed to continue general liability insurance coverage with Continental Western, the major insurer for ambulance districts in the state, through agent Mike Keith. The premium of $11,683 represented a 30 percent increase.

Crews during November made 203 runs, the largest number for the month in seven years. It was the ninth time in 11 months that runs topped 200, compared to five times in 2010. Runs for 2011 were up 24 percent over the previous year with one month left to tally.

Of the 151 patients treated, 55 went to Cox Monett Hospital, 53 to Springfield hospitals, four to Freeman in Joplin, 16 to nursing homes, five to St. John's Hospital-Aurora and three to St. John's Hospital-Cassville. Two went to helicopter landing zones and one went as far as the University of Missouri Medical Center in Columbia. Five patients were treated but not transported.

Crews turned over four calls to other services while all the Barry-Lawrence units were busy on other calls. One call was picked up from St. John's-Cassville.

Barry-Lawrence staff were involved in two public relations events during the month. A tour of the station was given to a Monett Cub Scout troop, and paramedic Nick Mercer spoke about emergency services as a vocation during a career day at Purdy High School.

Several staff changes took place in November. Paramedic Jason Mills and emergency medical technician Kiana Bock resigned. Jason Nape, Kristyna Griffin and Billie Garner, all paramedics, were hired.

Employees worked 184.5 hours of unscheduled overtime in two pay periods during November, in addition to 320 hours of scheduled overtime. Almost 82 hours of overtime was earned on standby duty in five incidents, two each with the Monett fire and police departments, and one with the Pierce City fire department.

Employees completed six continuing education credits from a course offered on the Internet during November. Education Director Andy McCaslin presented the Volunteer Firemen's Insurance Services driving class, a standardized presentation from the Glatfelter Insurance Group with all staff employees who needed to take it. McCaslin said an advanced cardiac life support class will be offered by Cox Monett Hospital's education department in February.

The next board meeting will be held on Jan. 10.

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