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EMS request for ambulance passed on to council

EMS request for ambulance passed on to council EMS request for ambulance passed on to council
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

The Harrison County commissioners were presented with a request for a new ambulance at their meeting last Tuesday night (moved from the second Monday due to Presidents Day).

Joe Squier, EMS manager for Harrison County Hospital, approached the commissioners and explained that five of the eight ambulances in their fleet have more than 200,000 miles on them. He reminded the commissioners that he presented a plan in 2018 that would eventually replace all the ambulances his team drives, breaking it down by years and the number he would need to buy.

Recently, the county approved funding for two new ambulances, both of which are currently in production and set to be delivered by the middle of the year. Squier said the reason he was asking this early in the year for another one is due to the fact that it will take about 10 months to get the ambulance into production and delivered, so it wouldn’t be in use until 2022. Also, he noted that the county will not pay for these until they take possession of the ambulances.

“My hope is to continue moving forward to make sure these ambulances won’t get too many miles on them to help our patients be transported safely,” Squier said.

Commissioner Nelson Stepro expressed his concerns whether the council would approve the funding, as it would cost the county about $240,000.

Heitkemper, who made the motion which passed unanimously to forward the funding request to the council, said he hoped they were ready to digest this dollar amount because he knows the importance of staying ahead of increasing mileage numbers on each ambulance.

The county council heard this request at their most recent meeting, which was Monday evening, and will vote on the request at its next meeting, Monday, March 8, at 7 p.m.

Squier also brought another matter to the commissioners last week of his hope of having one of the three men serve on an advisory committee with EMS. The committee does work to sustain the EMS national accreditation for their training institute, he said.

The commissioners agreed to discuss this further and hope to have an answer to him in the coming weeks.

In other business for the commissioners, Eric Wise, the county planner, brought a new building ordinance document for the commissioners to look over. The last time this was updated was in 1989, and, after the state adopted new building codes last year, Wise believed it was best to work with them to create new building ordinances.

The commissioners agreed to take this under advisement.

Kevin Russel, the county engineer and highway director, along with Bob Snyder of United Consulting, also approached the commissioners at their meeting, to go over the second phase of the bridge inspection report they have finished.

The pair noted the various bridges that will need maintenance and care in the coming years, but that each bridge in the county is currently in compliance with state and federal regulations.

“The bridges in this county are in great shape because you all are constantly thinking ahead and not about what you could be doing, but, instead, you are actually doing it,” Snyder said.

The commissioners’ next regular meeting is set for Monday at 8:30 a.m. at the government center in Corydon.