Cedar County Ambulance Board to look into dispatching

Posted January 24, 2013 at 12:00 am

The Cedar County Ambulance board decided at its Monday, Jan. 21, meeting in the El Dorado Springs facility to look into how the ambulances are being dispatched.

Wes Spinks, the newest member, said, “I like dispatching in the county; however, it needs to be improved.”

Nadine Sinclair, Stockton, who has said previously that she has dispatching experience, said during the public forum that she has been monitoring radio traffic and spotted “several dispatching errors.” She said that Citizens Memorial Hospital or the Cedar County Ambulance Board needs to look into the matter.

Ms. Sinclair then gave a few specific cases she said she had observed in which the El Dorado Springs police dispatcher sent an officer to the scene of a medical emergency, then relayed the call for the Cedar County Sheriff’s dispatcher to send the ambulance. El Dorado Springs does not directly dispatch the ambulance.

Ms. Sinclair said that in such an emergency, minutes are crucial and that the ambulance should be dispatched before a police officer is sent to the scene.

On Tuesday, the Sun called El Dorado Springs Police Chief Jarrod Schiereck to discuss the compliant with him. Chief Schiereck’s first comment was the each officer has in his car a very expensive AED (automatic defibrillating devise) and knows how to use it. He said that in the three years he has been police chief, his officers have saved “many, many lives” by arriving quickly at the scene. The police chief said that each of his road officers were trained in CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) as part of their police officer training. He said that some of them are qualified as first responders.

The chief said that his dispatcher sends an officer to all calls at private residences but not to the hospital or nursing home for transfers. He said that if the medical call is for a domestic disturbance, fight or incident that might involve some form of abuse, his officers would be called anyway so sending them quickly saves time. Furthermore, when the officer gets to the scene first, in addition to making sure the patient is stable, he will get the list of medications and give it to the ambulance crew when they arrive.

Back to the meeting – Wes Spinks said that he has scheduled a meeting later this week with the new Cedar County Sheriff to find out about dispatching. Spinks also said he will speak with the El Dorado Springs police chief to learn how his department handles ambulance dispatching.

All ambulance board members were present: Robert Matney, John Wilson, Don Fugate, Sue Rice, Wes Spinks and Leroy Sousley – presiding.

During his Cedar County ambulance director report,

Chris Loderhose introduced the new El Dorado Springs supervisor for CMH, Don Stockton.

Loderhose reported that there were 180 ambulance runs during December – 97 in El Dorado Springs and 84 in Stockton. Of those, 51 went to Cedar County Memorial Hospital, 47 went to Citizens Memorial in Bolivar, 17 went to Mercy in Springfield, 8 went to Cox South – Springfield, 6 went to Nevada Regional, 4 went to Mercy – Joplin and 4 went to Freeman – Joplin.

For 2012 year, there were 1,935 ambulance runs in Cedar County – 1,049 in the El Dorado Springs area and 886 in the Stockton area. There were 490 transported to CMH in Bolivar, 475 to CCMH, 207 to Mercy – Springfield, 57 to Nevada Regional, 55 to Cox South, 52 to the helicopter landing zone, 33 to Mercy – Joplin and 18 to Freeman – Joplin.

Total miles for the year by vehicle were (miles on the vehicle at end of year): 710 – 39,945 (40,670) , 711 – 40,069 (134,930), 712 – 25,589 (166,701) and 714 – 15,912 (314,056). Total miles the year was about 121,000 miles.

Loderhose asked for board guidance on how to ration mileage among the four ambulances and they decided to rotate them about equally since they will order a new (remounted) vehicle soon.

In the financial report for Citizens Memorial, for November the total operation lost $6,967. For the year-to-date six months ending Nov. 30, 2012, the operation showed a profit of $50,923.

In old business, Chairman Sousley said two organizations would like to have the used radio equipment – the Olympia Volunteer Fire Department and the El Dorado Springs Volunteer Fire Department.

Sue Rice made a motion to sell the used equipment to those two departments for $10 per item.

Spinks said, “We can get specific requests from agencies in the county that want them.”

Jerry Davis, who later said he is a Jerico Springs first responder (vice president of the county First Responder organization) and fire department member, launched into a verbal attack on the Olympia Volunteer Fire Department, saying “They call for mutual aid and they don’t show up. They don’t have no first responders.” He said someone tried to “get Olympia to get their radios reprogrammed to narrow band and they didn’t show up.”

Spinks said he wants to give (sell) the equipment to organizations that respond to ambulance calls.

Rice made a motion, seconded by Fugate, to send a letter to fire departments offering the used 17 pagers and 12 radios for $10 each. Only Sousley and Rice voted in favor.

Wilson made a motion, seconded by Matney, to send a letter to all eight emergency agencies in the county asking what equipment they want and how many: Cedar County Emergency Management, Cedar County First Responders, and the volunteer fire departments in El Dorado Springs, Olympia, Stockton, Caplinger Mills, Chapel Hills and Jerico Springs. The decision will be based on need that is reported in the application letters. The vote was four in favor with Fugate voting no and Sousley abstaining. Wilson, who mentioned during the meeting that he is a First Responder, runs the risk of being in conflict of interest when he votes on anything involving that organization.

The board took up remounting an ambulance “box” on a new chassis.

Foster Coach bid $95,701 to put that box on a 3500 Chevrolet chassis in 10-12 months. Tower’s Fire Apparatus Company bid $112,243 to remount the box on a 3500 Chevy chassis in 90-120 days. American Response Vehicles bid $92,985 to remount the box on a 4500 Chevrolet chassis in 90 days.

Chris Loderhose and Don Stockton said they were familiar with the ARV work and were comfortable with it.

On a motion by Matney, second by Wilson, the board voted to table the decision until the February meeting, then they adjourned.