By PJ Martin
Vice chairman Neil Thornbury presided over the Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Medical Services Board of Directors on August 23rd at the TJ Samson Community Center. Metcalfe Judge/Executive Larry Wilson was unable to attend.
Executive Director Joe Middleton presented an ambulance update starting with Unit 509 which will replace the flood damaged Unit 505 and should be ready within a week. A new ambulance has been received and should have the installation of the used box, other equipment, and inspection completed by October.
In December, two ambulances are scheduled to arrive from Penn Care one of which is for Metcalfe, switching out unit 501 which will stay in service elsewhere.
“There has been a significant increase in the cost of ambulances,” noted Middleton. The exact same ambulance last December from Penn Care for $146,000 is now $173,744. The delivery wait time has also gone from 12 to 18 months. Because of that, Middleton asked the board to allow him to enter into a vehicle purchase agreement holding the current price to request another ambulance in December allowing for a reserve ambulance. After a brief discussion, the agreement was approved.
The approval was given to allow Taylor, Polson, & Company, PSC to begin auditing the FY 2022-2023 records.
Next, the tower issues in Metcalfe County were discussed. The tower on Greensburg Road was struck by lightning and damage was done to the EMS repeater which has since been taken for repairs. The previous EMS repeater was also damaged by lightning in an earlier storm.
The EMS personnel working in Metcalfe have since set up a backup system using RFID capability of Wi-Fi and cell signals.
The next item concerned the budget which has the amount of $65,000 to purchase a command response vehicle. Other options besides purchasing a replacement vehicle are being looked into. To compare, if leasing 2 vehicles for 3 years on rotation (6 years period) it would cost $347,000. If purchased the cost would be $566,000 following the state bid pricing.
Enterprise requires 10 or more vehicles to qualify for the special leasing plans so EMS does not qualify. However, if a qualifying agency such as TJ Samson who does have more than 10 leased vehicles would allow the BMEMS to create an extension account under their lease, the lease options are possible. The different options will be researched before the next meeting.
Two flatbed trailers were approved for surplus and advertisement for sealed bids to be taken before the next meeting.
Finance and Operations Reports
Executive Secretary/Treasurer Shawn Estes presented the FY 22-23 end as of June 30 cash receipts as $6,093,239 and total adjusted expenses of $6,061,109 for a net income of $10,519.
Estes then presented the FY 23-24 beginning July 1st with cash receipts of $ 539,499 and total adjusted expenses of $473,980 for a net income of $65,519. Estes noted that the final payment of $4,261.61 was made to Edmonton State Bank paying off the note for the land purchased in 2021.
This leaves payments on a note at ESB for ambulance #506 of $4,361.34 per month, a note at Limestone Bank for ambulance #510 of $7,898.29 per month, and the lease obligation for radios of $3,929.52 paid quarterly.
One of the CDs held at ESB was cashed out to pay for the emergency replacement ambulance until the insurance could process on the ambulance lost during the flooding. The insurance was received on August 18th for $282,000 which replaced the CD.
Executive Director Joe Middleton presented the operations reports with June 30 (year-end) runs totaling 10,963. That total increase is 167 runs over FY 22-23.
The month of July ended with 963 runs with 818 in Barren County and 145 in Metcalfe County.
Also presented were the average times (Jan. 1 – Aug. 21) for call response on emergency runs of 10 minutes and 3 seconds and the average time on scene of 14 minutes and 40 seconds.
Middleton also presented the response report sorted by Fire Dept. District and volume by BMEMS Station for June and July.
Middleton reported that 4 Paramedics have enrolled in the Critical Care Course being presented by BMEMS. That course is being provided at no cost to current employees. When the course is completed in mid-October, a Basic Course will begin. Fourteen applicants are going through the financial assistance process now. When that course completes another Advanced EMT Course will begin.
“We are on target to become a Satellite Paramedic Program for Hopkinsville Fire. So everything we do at the Barren/Metcalfe Program will mirror image what is being done at Hopkinsville Fire Dept. The accreditation will be through Hopkinsville Fire Dept. and we will just be a satellite for that,” announced Middleton. A small percentage of the registration fee will be used by the Hopkinsville Fire Dept. to offset the expenses of accreditation.
The board went into a short closed session and returned with no action presented.
The next meeting of the board is scheduled for October 25th at 4 p.m. at TJ Samson Community Center.