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by Patty Cheffey
After hearing concerns both internally and externally, the Marion County Ambulance Board adopted a new cell phone and social media policy.
The board adopted the new policy during their recent meeting, at which they also learned new captains and FTOs had been appointed, heard updates on the GEMT funding and on the administrative move and discussed calls.
Because of concerns brought to him regarding ambulance district personnel posting photos online while in Marion County Ambulance District (MCAD) uniform or while operating district equipment. Chief John Nemes said he had spoken with the district’s legal counsel regarding this and he advised a change in policy to prevent unauthorized or inappropriate material from being shared or posted online.
Before presenting a policy to the board for consideration, Nemes said he had reviewed policies from other agencies and had the district’s legal counsel review it as well.
While the board agreed with the new policy, they also felt it also needed to address utilization of district-provided equipment.
While that is addressed else where in the current district policy manual, Nemes said it could easily be added to the new policy, which the board requested be done.
With that in place, the board adopted the new policy as well as the new social media policy recommended by the district’s legal counsel.
In other business, Nemes told the board the assistant chiefs had completed the captain and FTO interviews and presented their recommendations for promotion.
New captains are Jeremy Gladbach, Chris Kelle, Hannah Albright and Chris Dolbeare.
In addition, 12 other employees were offered positions of either Field Training Office (FTO) 1 or 2 and those positions had been accepted.
The new FTOs will be in charge of training new employees and students based upon their licensure.
Nemes also reported on the Ground Emergency Medical Transportation (GEMT) funding paperwork, noting the district needed to pay the non-federal portion of $124,347.90.
The board approved making that payment.
Once that payment is made, the district will received the federal portion plus receive back the non-federal portion. Those payments are expected by the first of May.
The overall GEMT reimbursement this year is $357,044.92, Nemes said.
Also under old business, Nemes said the administrative move to Base 1 was completed.
Only financial, billing and training are now working out of the administrative building, and the move to Base 1 allowed the district to set up an operations center capable of handling large-scale incidents, if necessary.
“The supervisory staff will be managing some of the larger standby events from this center,” Nemes said, adding the goal is to have supervisory personnel utilize the Incident Command System on a more regular basis so they are better prepared operationally for a larger incident.
Under the Chief’s Report, Nemes told the board the district answered 440 calls for emergency service in February. Base 1 (Hannibal)- 2711 handled 116 calls, 2721 handled 102 calls, Base 2 (Hannibal) handled 142 calls, and Base 3 (Palmyra) handled 64 calls. There were 16 off-duty transfers.
The next meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, April 20.