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by Patty Cheffey
Full time EMTs for the Marion County Ambulance District who want to train to be paramedics can now get 100 percent cost reimbursement, provided they are willing to sign an agreement with the district.
The Marion County Ambulance District board approved the agreement during their meeting last week, at which they also heard updates on the district’s new website, on working with Northeast Power Cooperative on their helipad and on the audit.
Under the agreement, full time employees who undergo and complete the paramedic training will have 100 percent of their costs, including any books and fees, reimbursed to them, provided they meet the qualifications outlined in the agreement.
The district agrees to reimburse the employee $1 for every hour worked until the total amount is paid, according to Chief John Nemes. Working hours start after the employee is certified.
According to the agreement, it becomes a demand note upon the happening of any of three possible events, including one, the employee failing to successfully complete the course of training or education; two, the employee fails to remain employed in good standing and is either fired or chooses to leave; or three, the employee fails to maintain active stats as a PRN per district policy in any given month.
In other business, Nemes reported the district’s web page is now public, although updates are still ongoing.
“Everything needed for compliance is in place, though,” he said, adding the option to pay online is included on the page. “We also have the option to pay online for training classes.”
Nemes also reported the AV equipment in the training room has been completed and noted the new speakers/microphones are very sensitive.
The equipment includes cameras to allow for online training and a document reader for the instructor to project images on a screen.
Nemes and Brandon Buckman from Air Evac met with the staff at Northeast Power Cooperative to discuss possible upgrades to the helipad there.
“Several ideas and suggestions were offered, and we will continue to work together for the good of the Palmyra community and surrounding area,” said Nemes, adding one idea would be the installation of a sidewalk from the helipad to allow easier use of cots rather than roll them through grass.
“They are also talking about fencing everything in,” he added.
Nemes also reviewed the annual audit, noting everything looked good and there were no recommendations.
“Our checks and balances meet their satisfaction,” he said.
Nemes also reported he had attended the emergency management meeting for the National Tom Sawyer Days debriefing and discussed ways to improvement communications. One glitch with the repeater, which caused a delay, was noted, but that is being worked on currently.
He did note, however, the biggest concern is the closing of the third street viaduct and what that means for emergency services.
While there are a couple of street options to use in good weather, if flooding should occur, those options would be cut off, he said.
Some table top scenarios are going to be conducted to determine what can be done if there is flooding and the flood walls are installed, basically cutting off services to the south part of Hannibal.
He did note if that should happen, an ambulance would be temporarily stationed on the other side.
Also in his report, Nemes noted:
• AEDS are backed up to an extended shipping time of eight to 10 months. The district currently has about five on order;
• the CMS cost reporting is complete and has been uploaded, noting he hopes this is a “one and done” deal as it took quite a bit of work on everyone’s part to do the reporting;
• the administrative building is still waiting for the new siding as the contract had other jobs before theirs; and
• the MCAD answered 525 calls in June, with Base 1 – 2711 handling 137 calls; Base 1 – 2721 handling 138 calls; Base 2, 167 calls; and Base 3 (Palmyra), 78 calls.