Ambulance district to upgrade equipment

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

By Murray Bishoff

Barry-Lawrence Ambulance crews have remained very busy in the second quarter of 2013, according to reports reviewed at the July meeting of the district's board of directors.

Board members voted to spend $20,000 to purchase four cots from the Ferno company. Office manager Jeaneittia Pierce said cots require periodic replacement. Pierce will also investigate the trade-in option for three of the four cots.

Pierce presented the board with information on stair chairs, which provide a way to move patients from elevated parts of homes where cots will not go. Cost is around $3,400 per unit.

Crews made 736 runs from April through June, sustaining the record pace set last year. The total is up 24 percent from 2010.

In May, crews transported 173 patients. A total of 41 went to Cox Monett Hospital, 88 went to Springfield hospitals, six to Joplin hospitals, two to Mercy Hospital-Aurora and one to Mercy Hospital-Cassville. Eighteen went to nursing homes.

Five runs were picked up from other services in May, while six calls were turned over to other services due to all available ambulances having other commitments.

In June, crews transported 155 patients. There were 46 patients taken to Cox Monett Hospital, 68 to Springfield hospitals, eight to Joplin hospitals, three to Mercy Hospital-Aurora and two to Mercy Hospital-Cassville. Five went to nursing homes and three to their homes.

Four calls were picked up from other services and four calls turned over during June.

In staff changes, Jason Christison went from an on-call paramedic to full-time. Richard Pierce moved from an on-call emergency medical technician to full-time. Mervin Warthen was hired as an on-call paramedic. Paramedics Kevin Pritchett and Billie Garner left as employees.

Overtime payments have continued relatively low. In addition to the 160 hours of overtime scheduled in each pay period, the district paid 19 hours of overtime in May and 33.5 hours in June.

Education coordinator Andy McCaslin reported attending a conference for instructors, coordinators and evaluators in Lake Ozark. McCaslin said the variety of topics covered would help him provide quality education for district employees. He planned to start a First Responder class when demand called for it and hold a paramedic refresher program in the fall.

The board is next scheduled to meet on Aug. 13 at the district office at 307 Dairy St. in Monett.

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