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MCAD committee to explore new ambulance for future

The Marion County Ambulance District is exploring a new way to replace its ambulances in the future.

Chief John Nemes reported he is working on a committee  to look into that possibility during last week’s board meeting, at which the board discussed the fixed asset policy, heard an update on the audit as well as on the GEMT payment, the CARES Act funds and district runs and reorganized the board following the June 2 election.

According to Nemes, a truck committee should be in place soon with the employees selecting who will serve on that committee.

“We divided the crew employees into four groups based on years of service,” Nemes said. “A ballot was created so employees could vote for one person in each category to serve on the committee. This will allow for a broad range of experience in the process.” 

He added ballots were due at the first of the week and once voting is complete and the committee formed, that committee will begin looking at current trucks and work on what the district can improve upon in the future

“The committee will also look at what options are out there to best serve the district in safety, function, fuel savings, etc,” Nemes added.

In other business, the board discussed the fixed asset policy, which is actually more of a recommendation from the district’s auditor.

“Any equipment we purchase that is $1500 or below, Wade Stables recommended we consider it an expense, not a fixed asset,” said Nemes.

The board tabled that issue until they get the final audit report and can see what the district’s attorney recommends.

In his report, Nemes noted the audit is completed but has not been submitted to the district yet. It will be available for the July meeting.

Besides the fixed asset issue, Nemes said there was only one other item of interest in the audit.

“Everything looked good and their only recommendations were to consider equipment purchases of $1500 or less an expense instead of a fixed asset, and to have a board member actually sign the bank statements after reviewing them,” he said.

Nemes also reported that Marion County received a large CARES Act grant for COVID-19 relief distribution to various county agencies. 

“As soon as they finalize the application process, we will be submitting our request for funds to offset any expenses we have related to COVID,” he said.

One issue that will help offset losses in revenue this year, will be the payment from GEMT.

The district received the GEMT payment of $489,451.11, and after subtracting the state contribution of $178,928.79, it saw a net gain of $310,522.32 from the program, Nemes reported.

The board also certified the election results, then re-elected its current officers, including Dot Lake, chairman; Marie Frankenbach, vice-chairman; and Tom Rupp, secretary/treasurer.

Nemes also reported in June, MCAD received 440 calls for emergency service. 

Base 1 (Hannibal) responded to 147 calls with 12 local/long distance transfers, 69 transports to Hannibal Regional, seven transports to Blessing, four public assist calls, 10 calls canceled, 43 patient refusals and two stand-by events. 

Base 2 (Hannibal) responded to 164 calls with 77 transports to Hannibal Regional, seven transports to Blessing, 11 local/long distance transfers, zero assist calls, 17 calls canceled, 51 patient refusals and one stand-by call. 

Base 3 (Palmyra) responded to 64 calls with 14 transports to Hannibal Regional, 20 transports to Blessing, three local/long distance transfers, three assist calls, eight calls canceled, 15 patient refusals and one stand-by call.  

The 12-hour reserve unit had 47 calls, of which 24 were long-distance transfers, seven local transfers, eight emergency transports to Hannibal Regional, six to Blessing, one call canceled, one patient refusal and no stand-by calls. 

The Cardinal Glennon unit had four transports.