Dec. 17--During Monday's meeting, the trio of county commissioners voted to extend contacts to each of the county's volunteer ambulance services: Anderson Township, Carthage, Raleigh and Rush Memorial Ambulance for 2014.
Concerns escalated during the summer when medical calls were not being responded to in a timely fashion or at all by ATVFD personnel to the southern portion of the county. Beginning in June, a dual dispatch system was set in place with RMH Ambulance also being dispatched to medical calls in and around Milroy and the southern portion of the county.
Anderson Township Volunteer Fire Chief Nick White attended the meeting and told the county leaders that currently the Milroy volunteer department only has eight certified EMTs and many of the emergency medical techs are unavailable to respond while they are at their place of employment or away from home.
He then requested the county leaders give the volunteers another opportunity to meet the medical needs of their rural community by approving a contract for their service -- a contract that will pay ATVFD 12 installments for a total of $33,600 during 2014.
A lengthy discussion followed White's request.
"We have some work to do to get this back up and running and I feel that we (as commissioners) are over bending in an effort to make this happen," commissioner Bruce Levi said.
White countered that in recent months many volunteers in the department have moved while other volunteers are not permanent residents of the rural community, again making it difficult to respond to emergency calls.
Questions were raised regarding communication between the volunteer department and county dispatch by letting county emergency dispatchers know the medical personnel are unable to respond during certain hours or days of the week.
"The department needs to decide if they are going to provide service or not," sheriff Jeff Sherwood said.
Acting on a motion by commissioner Ken Master of the northern district to approve the contracts as presented with the stipulation that the Anderson Township contact will be reevaluated on a monthly basis.
With the approval, during 2014, Raleigh will receive $48,000, Carthage $35,000 and Anderson Township $33,600 to provide emergency ambulance service.
Contact: Frank Denzler @ 765.932.2222 x106.
Copyright 2013 - The Rushville Republican, Ind.