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by Patty Cheffey
In an attempt to help things run smoother in the future, the Marion County Ambulance District has been meeting with Hannibal Regional administration and has plans to visit with skilled care facilities.
The district board of directors heard reports on these two items during their recent meeting, at which they also heard an update on the GEMT reimbursement and approved a pay increase, a credit card transaction policy and training.
Ambulance District Chief John Nemes and district staff recently met with Hannibal Regional administrative personnel to discuss inter-facility transfers and ways to improve the process of assigning transfers in a timely manner.
“It was a very productive meeting and several ideas were discussed, not with just transfers, but with other issues facing both entities,” Nemes said.
“We are looking at a couple of different ways to help each other address some of those issues, including labor,” he added, noting Hannibal Regional is covering the legal aspects on the different ways the two entities can work together for the best of all patients.
Further meetings are planned, Nemes added.
Following a complaint from a local skilled care facility regarding the attitude of one of the crews, Nemes also reported he is working on a presentation to help skilled care facilities better understand the EMS laws and obligations they must follow.
He noted the crew had already self-reported the incident, and upon further investigation, it was determined the incident appeared to be more of a communication issue and lack of understanding between the agencies.
“Often the duties the EMS crew is obligated to do and with what the skilled care facility employees have to follow conflict with each other,” Nemes said.
He is hopeful the presentation he is preparing will help both sides.
“I hope to meet with staff at each facility and present this information, along with giving them the opportunity to address the protocols and procedures they have to follow as well,” Nemes said. “I hope to foster a more positive relationship that benefits everyone.”
He said he would also like to include dispatch and physicians in the discussion to help improve the overall patient care process and information given to EMS prior to arrival
In other business, Nemes told the board the ground emergency medical transportation (GEMT) was now completed.
The final reimbursement of $446,848.23 was electronically transferred to the district’s account this past week.
Nemes updated the board on the status of the COVID pay and the current budget, noting the payroll was within the budget and after reviewing it recommended the board approve making the COVID pay increase permanent.
After some discussion, that was approved.
The board also approved a credit card transaction policy that was recommended by Wade Stables during the annual audit.
This additional check and balance will prevent unauthorized transactions and will allow the board secretary and chief financial officer to review the receipts.
In addition, the board approved allowing five field employees to attend the EMS World Expo in Atlanta this year, even though it had not been budgeted.
According to Nemes, the conference was not held last year because of COVID and was unaware of the conference when making up the budget.
Cost for the trip would be between $10,000 and $12,000 depending on the pricing at the time of booking.
Nemes advised the Board that district personnel will be meeting with area agencies over the next couple of weeks to begin planning for the upcoming events in the area, such as National Tom Sawyer Days, Hannibal Cannibal, Hannibal Barbecue Fest and Marion County Fair.
An Incident Action Plan (IAP) for each individual event and coordinating with NECOMM, law enforcement, fire and public works will be included.
Under the Chief’s Report, Nemes told the board MCAD answered 547 calls for emergency service in May. Base 1 (Hannibal) – 2711 handled 154 calls, 2721 handled 136 calls, Base 2 (Hannibal) handled 146 calls, Base 3 (Palmyra) handled 90 calls, off-duty or call in crews handled nine calls, and the Cardinal Glennon unit had 12 transports.
National EMS Week was celebrated with the crews, he added, noting they had food, games and giveaways as part of the week.
After some discussion, the board approved not holding a meeting in July unless something major comes up. The next meeting will be Thursday, Aug. 19.