It was a jam-packed night for business at the Cedar County Ambulance Board’s June 19 meeting in Stockton: they filled the board vacancy in District 1 which had been vacant for about a year; they heard a proposal from the Cedar County Memorial Hospital board to take over the ambulance service in six months; they made some decisions on financing the new Stockton ambulance barn. Board members present were Kenny Turner, Keith Kosko, Nadine Sinclair and John Wilson – presiding. At that time there were still two vacant board positions – District 1 and District 2.

The first item of business was the appointment and swearing in of Evelyn Boyle to the District 1 seat left vacant by the resignation of Sue Rice.

The board received a detailed written and verbal proposal from the Cedar County Memorial Hospital (CCMH) board to operate the Cedar County Ambulance District (CCAD).

The CCMH proposal said it would increase ambulance coverage in Cedar County while also increasing revenue to the CCAD. “As an entity of Cedar County, Cedar County Memorial Hospital is focused on improving the ambulance service for Cedar County residents while assisting the CCAD in retaining funds in the county,”

“CCMH would continue the current ambulance coverage and add 12 hours of Advance Life Support (ALS) coverage per day, 365 days a year.”

The proposal said CCMH will add one ALS ambulance at each of the CCAD bases (Stockton and El Dorado Springs). These units may transport patients to destinations outside of Cedar County at the patient’s request, if appropriate, including requests for transfer.

The head of nursing at CCMH told the board that the wait to get a patient transferred causes real problems.

Dr. James Riscoe, MD, told the board that the delay in transfers causes problems for the medical staff. Sometimes what would have been a routine transfer when requested becomes an emergency requiring a $6,000 helicopter transfer. He said it is not uncommon for patients to have a long wait for a transfer.

The CCMH proposal said that the CCAD pays $225,000 plus a 3% annual increase to the current provider, CMH. CCMH proposes that if the net revenue to CCMH for direct operation of the CCAD service exceeds expenses directly associated with CCMH’s operation of the CCAD service, the CCAD would pay nothing to CCMH. CCMH agrees to divide equally with CCAD all net revenue from its direct operation of the CCAD service over expenses from its direct operation of the CCAD service. If expense directly associated with CCMH’s operation of the CCAD exceeds net revenue to CCMH for direct operation of the CCAD service, then the CCAD would make up the loss to CCMH not to exceed $250,000.

Chairman Wilson told the hospital board, “We will have to present this to our counsel and see where we are at. Come back next month.”

The board took up the issue of financing on the new building. It had financing proposals from Heritage Bank, Simmons Bank and Municipal Development Funding.

The board voted to go with Municipal Development Funding for 3.76 % for 20 years.

The board discussed the proposal to help pay the dispatchers but had been told by their lawyer they can’t do that because the dispatchers’ contract is with the sheriff’s office.

There was a brief discussion about whether CCMH, if they got the contract, would increase the dispatchers’ pay.

In her financial report, Kalena Kenney Bruce told the board the district’s total cash has increased in the past year by $184,000 to $782,558.

The board voted to purchase a second misting fan for $645 for use at the El Dorado Picnic and the Stockton Walnut Festival to help keep people in the crowd from overheating.

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