By: Jennifer Britt
The Parsons Advocate
The focus of the Ambulance Authority meeting was the upcoming November ballot that has the proposed levy on it. The vote for or against the levy could mean the difference between one or two EMS crews in Tucker County. The levy will help close the gap of funds needed to run an efficient EMS with better response times, more crew members and possibly a transport service to earn more revenue.
The Ambulance Authority has set dates for the public hearing to discuss the proposed levy tax. The levy tax is on the November ballot. The authority has tentatively set four dates for answer any questions residents of Tucker County may have concerning the levy. Facebook live streaming may also be an option for residents to view the meeting depending upon Wi-Fi service at meeting areas.
The first meeting is to take place on Tuesday, October 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Canaan Valley Volunteer Fire Department Hall. The fire hall is located at 6563 Appalachian Hwy, Davis, West Virginia, 26260.
The second meeting is to be held on Tuesday, October 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the St. George Clinic Pavilion. The pavilion is located at 8591 Holly Meadows Road, Parsons, West Virginia, 26287.
Third meeting is to take place at the Davis Fire Hall on Tuesday October 25 at 6:30 p.m. The Davis Fire Hall is located at 610 William Ave, Davis, West Virginia, 26260.
The final meeting will be held on the third floor of the Old Courthouse in Parsons on November 1 at 6:30 p.m. The courthouse address is 211 First Street, Parsons, West Virginia, 26287.
These meetings will include a question-and-answer session after a slide show presentation. The authority’s goal is to have a structured plan for EMS going forward. The meetings will provide an opportunity for the community to get a better understanding of the levy.
The authority has plans for the next few months to improve the EMS system. The focus for October is getting information concerning the levy out to the public. The authority members will continue to work on the policy manual and board by-laws.
November and post levy results will have an impact on what course of action the authority will take with their budget, staffing, and running one or two EMS crews. Policy procedures and the board’s by-laws ready for review and to have the structural pieces of the organization in place. Ambulance Authority President Dennis Filler said, “Our policies and procedure, our by-laws, they start to come together in November, and we start to make decisions then based upon the outcome of the levy which way the organization has to go forward.”
In December the authority’s implementation plan will be based on the funding and how the authority plans to go forward with the new year. The authority plans have the revamped and modernized by-laws and policies in place. They also plan to have staffing increases with the tools needed.
Filler said, “We will have to look at implementing any action plan that is, whether it is plan A or plan B, based upon the status of our funding. During those times in December, we would like to look at how we can improve our by-laws and can we have our policies and procedures revamped, modernized, and in place. So that way beginning of the new calendar year we have got an articular organization and we have whatever the financial situation is and hopefully a corresponding plan in place to start to execute.
God willing it will be a plan for staffing increases and those kinds of things moving forward. But at least then we will have the materials that is needed so when staff comes on board everyone gets baseline employee manual and procedures. With the right tools in place, we go into a new calendar year with a new game plan. That is for us (the authority), the organization, and the community.”
During the meeting EMS Assistant Director Scott Kennedy provided information of a $5,000 grant awarded by TC Energy (formally Columbia Gas) for an airway upgrade. EMS will use the grant towards the purchase a video laryngoscope. The remaining $1,400 to $1,500 needed will have to come from the budget.
Video laryngoscopy is a relatively new technology developed to improve the success rate of tracheal intubation. A high-resolution micro camera mounted on the tip of a curved blade connected to small portable digital monitor improves the view of the vocal cords and subsequently the success rate of direct laryngoscopy. The video laryngoscope is recommended for intubating difficult airways.
Due to the upcoming public meetings no date has been set for a regular meeting.