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by Patty Cheffey
Marion County ambulances will be trying harder in the future to learn where they should park during event stand-by duty.
John Lyng, a Hannibal resident, was present at the recent ambulance board meeting to discuss that issue and offer a suggestion. Also during the meeting, the board learned of new captain and crisis intervention training, learned of a new hire and resignation and briefly discussed health insurance.
Lyng said during a Jaycee event last year, there was some confusion on where the stand-by unit was parked, noting it was actually on private, not city property. After some discussion with MCAD and HPD, the crew eventually moved to a different location.
While noting it was not a major issue, he suggested meeting with city officials pre-event to avoid confusion.
Chief John Nemes said he does meet with city officials, but noted he could ask for a more accurate survey of parking locations.
While they like to remain on city property if possible, Nemes added, if private property has to be used, permission is always sought.
He also noted he was unsure what happened at that event, but would be sure to coordinate with the city on final positioning in their meeting.
In other business, Nemes informed the board he, his supervisory staff, the four assistant chiefs, and board chairman, Dot Lake, attended the 40-hour CIT (Crisis Intervention Training) program and received their certifications.
The training, which focuses on de-escalation strategies in mental health situations and redirecting individuals from the criminal justice system to the mental health care system, includes education from mental health and substance use experts, legal experts, consumer/family advocates, and other experienced CIT officers, he said.
In other training news, Nemes said the four new captains attended Incident Command System 300 & 400 courses this month and received their certificates.
“ These courses provide training and resources for responders who require advanced application of ICS by providing overall incident management skills rather than tactical expertise,” Nemes said. “All administrative personnel and supervisors are required to attend the training.”
The district will be utilizing this training throughout the year on the large-scale events, including those such as Tom Sawyer Days and the Marion County Fair.
“The end goal is to provide routine practice opportunities using ICS so personnel can be better prepared for a large-scale emergency situation,” he added.
The district added a new instructor to fill the open teaching position for the paramedic program after Tony Slater, one of the district’s new PRN paramedics, expressed his interest and asked to be considered.
Slater has prior experience in education with other districts and could step right in to the instructor role, Nemes said, adding he had consulted with the University of Missouri Education Department to approve it.
With the resignation of Assistant Chief Cody Danuser who accepted a regional manager position with a company in the St. Louis area, Nemes said he will be meeting with the four captains to discuss the expectations and demands of the assistant chief position before determining who will be appointed to fill it.
Also during his report, Nemes said that he and Chief Medical Officer John Clemens met with Dr. Eli Denney, ER Medical Director at Hannibal Regional Hospital, last week.
“Dr. Denney was given a tour of Base 1 and the overall ambulance operations there,” Nemes said, noting the meeting went very well and both parties agreed to continue meeting and working together to provide the best possible care for every patient.
The board also:
• learned the GEMT payment was submitted and the district should be receiving reimbursement in the coming weeks;
• learned the new policies were put into place and updated information will be going out to the crews:
• learned the district is moving ahead with exploring a different health insurance option that will improve both coverage for employees and the district’s large employer status. ;
• learned the District is placing three more AEDs in the community, at The Prince Avenue Baptist Church, LNK Fitness, and the Marion County Health Department; and
• learned the District answered 439 calls for emergency service in March. Base 1 (Hannibal)- 2711 handled 116 calls, 2721 handled 101 calls, Base 2 (Hannibal) handled 135 calls, Base 3 (Palmyra) handled 66 calls, and there were 21 off-duty transfers.
The board then adjourn the regular meeting sine die and re-adjourn to organize the new board. Dot Lake will remain as board chairman, Marie Frankenbach as vice-chairman, and Tom Rupp as secretary/treasurer.
The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, May 19.