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Ambulance district assisting with COVID-19 vaccine clinics

With COVID vaccine clinics ongoing, the Marion County Ambulance District has been doing their part to help.

Chief John Nemes reported to the ambulance district board the crews are participating in or providing a presence at area clinics. Nemes made the report at the recent board meeting, at which the board also heard an update on the power load system, on calls and on the GEMT program.

In his report, Nemes listed the various vaccination clinics at which the ambulance district had assisted, including one in Ralls County on Feb. 2; at the Hannibal in on Feb. 5, assisting the Nation Guard with administering over 2,000 doses; and providing help with the second round in Ralls County on Feb. 17.

The district will also be providing an EMS presence for Hannibal Regional at their clinic on Monday, Feb. 22.

In making his report, Nemes gave a special thanks to Division Chief Eric Murfin for his work and organization of these events.

“Murfin did a great job, with not only arranging Marion County Ambulance District personnel, but also helping other agencies keep the flow of traffic and people moving appropriately,” Nemes said.

The board also expressed their appreciation.

Because the number of clinics is increasing, Nemes said the district is pursing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with each agency/health department the district works with on vaccinations. 

“By having an MOU or contractual agreement in place, the District should be able to consider regular hours, overtime and all equipment hours utilized as an eligible Category B expense, which is reimbursable at a 100 percent federal cost share through FEMA,” he said.

In other business, Nemes reported the power load parts had come in and been installed in the units which had not previously had them.

Those systems will help ambulance personnel to load and unload passengers more easily and help reduce potential strain or injury to the district employees, he added.

Also in his report, Nemes said the district had handled 513 calls for January with the first truck at Base 1 handling 171 calls and second truck handling 61 calls.

He noted the disparity was because the 24 hour truck placed at Base 1 had not gone into service until Jan. 23. The response boundaries have been rearranged to help even out the call volume.

In other calls, Base 2 in Hannibal handled 171 calls and Base 3 in Palmyra handled 86 calls.

Off-duty and call in crews handled six calls, Nemes said, and the Cardinal Glennon unit had 18 transports.

In addition, Nemes told the board the Ground Emergency Medical Transport (GEMT) program is still on track, but the deadline has been extended to allow others to gather information.

Because of that extension, the district has not had to pay the state portion of the federal reimbursement program yet.

The next board meeting will be held March 18.