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Friday, May 6, 2016

Commissioners review terms of service contract

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Paul Sinders
The Clay County Commissioners are attempting to ensure they get the most out of its ambulance service.

With the current TransCare contract set to expire Dec. 31, the commissioners and Clay County Emergency Management Director Bryan Husband set out to come up with a scope of work proposal in a special meeting Monday.

After receiving numerous complaints about the current services, the commissioners agreed they needed to make some changes to the contract.

"There are too many loopholes now," Commissioners Paul Sinders said. "We want to narrow it down and be specific to ensure we get what is best for the residents of the county."

One of the biggest complaints acknowledged and discussed during the meeting regarded response times.

"With all the calls and complaints we receive about response times, there has to be a problem," Sinders said.

Currently, a TransCare unit is stationed in Brazil, while another is in Clay City. It was suggested having the ambulances centralized in an area on State Road 59, between Interstate-70 and State Road 46, but Husband said it may not be the best idea.

"It's not the first run that gets us," Husband said. "It's the situations where there are two or three at the same time that creates the issue."

Sinders added he would also like to see a standby ambulance unit stationed near I-70 and SR 59 so it would be able to respond in an adequate amount of time in any direction rather than one being inside the county line "just to adhere to contractual obligations."

Husband explained the standby ambulance moves around based on where other calls are made and is near the Clay/Vigo line at times to be able to respond to calls in Vigo County as well.

"The highest concentration of calls comes from the Brazil area," he said. "The standby unit will be at different places, including sometimes at the (United States 40/SR 340) split depending on where the first call is dispatched to."

Bryan Husband
Initially, it was also agreed that companies providing a quote to receive the ambulance service contract would be required to have a minimum of two years prior experience in managing a 911 system in a rural setting. However, after some discussion, it was moved to the "preferred" section of the scope of work so it would not automatically eliminate potential providers.

"We don't want to narrow things down to the point where we are only left with one option to consider," Sinders said. "While having certain abilities -- like experience with a 911 system and having their own dispatch service -- are definitely beneficial, we don't want other companies to feel we are ruling them out without at least considering them."

However, one term the commissioners and Husband agreed to make mandatory is that the commissioners must be notified off all current service charges and immediately contacted with any modifications of those charges.

"Presently, rate changes are at the discretion of TransCare, and the commissioners have to request information on the new service charges," Commissioners President Charlie Brown said. "I get calls quite a bit asking why someone was charged a certain amount, and I have to tell them to contact TransCare with that question."

Sinders added, "Considering the county is subsidizing an ambulance service with county funds, we should be made aware of the changes, at least out of common courtesy."

Some of the other qualification terms include:

* Mandatory -- Offer First Responder and EMT classes to area fire and rescue personnel at a minimal cost to support local response efforts with the ambulance service,

* Mandatory -- Provide standby units for county and community events while leaving emergency units for response,

* Preferred -- Participate in county organizational meetings planning and exercises like LEPC, County Fire Chiefs, EMA, Health Department, Hospital and ECT, and

* Dispatch/Communications -- Establish guidelines to help relieve first responders from making unnecessary runs, saving them response costs when not needed.

The commissioners added to the scope of work that the contract may be for up to three years with an annual review and "all other parts of the contract will remain and be reviewed and are subject to negotiation."

The scope of work was sent out to numerous ambulance services in the area Tuesday, and quotes must be returned to the Clay County Auditor's Office by noon, Friday, Nov. 13.

The commissioners will review the proposals in a special meeting at 10 a.m., Monday, Nov. 16, in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse.

The next regular meeting of the Clay County Commissioners will be 9 a.m., Monday, Nov. 2, at the same location.

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They need to have service that doesnt require dispatching search & resuce or a fire department to be able to load a person.

-- Posted by confused33 on Wed, Oct 28, 2009, at 11:14 PM

That is a good point. It seems our ambulance service providers and their advocates have drifted away from the fact that they are making a profit from the service they provide to the County. While other emergency services in the County are crippled by small budgets intended to break even, a private ambulance service profits from not only a valuable County wide contract but the additional ability to charge individuals or their insurance companies to generate revenue for thier business. Yet area fire and rescue personnel will be asked to strain their own department budget in just fuel alone by responding to ambulance service calls. Why should these local fire and rescue personnel be required to help a private ambulance service fulfill their profitable contract?

I'm sure that requiring the service provider to train other emergency responders will not be something that is disputed by any ambulance service provider. In fact as it reads they will be able to charge for the classes that will then be used to assist them in administering their contracted service.

In establishing these guidelines of relieving first responders from unnecessary runs, consider complete relief, or some type of service charge payable from the ambulance service provider to the local responding agency.

-- Posted by spiritof56 on Thu, Oct 29, 2009, at 3:57 AM

First of all, When did Bryan become a Commissioner, Or is he in charge of all Commissioners. Head lines say "Commissioners review terms of service contract " yet i see his picture and read him rattling on about what he thinks is the right for Clay county citizens. It seems he has his own interest in mind , this is strictly just an observation, As far as Trans-Care is concerned, Their is a Medical term called the "Golden Hour" they just choose to use the most of that hour as they can

-- Posted by 4 the People on Thu, Oct 29, 2009, at 8:06 AM

Considering Bryan Husband is the Emergency Management Director and ambulance services are emergency responders, I'd imagine the commissioenrs probably wanted his input for what needs to be in a contract. I wouldn't say the commissioners are experts in emergency management so I am glad they are taking the time to get additional information on something they might not know everything about.

-- Posted by axegrinder1313 on Thu, Oct 29, 2009, at 3:55 PM

All the people making comments about this subject must have no idea about EMS. As to confused 33 Id like to see you and one other person lift a 600Lb person alone. I have worked in ems for 7 years professionally. All Ems services have problems. Doesnt matter what company or what county. It is hard to have good response times when 3-4 runs come in at once. It doesnt matter what company the county choose's there is ALWAYS going to be complaints. Everybody expects the ambulance to be there in seconds when you call. The people that complain are the people that dont move to the side of the road when they meet a Emergency Responce Vehicle also.

-- Posted by max23 on Thu, Oct 29, 2009, at 4:50 PM

Oh and to 4 the people... The "golden hour" is from the time of injury to the trauma center or surgery center. Nobody is treated in the "golden hour" in this county or surrounding counties. St. Vincent Clay Hospital is definitely not helping the situation in this county either.

-- Posted by max23 on Thu, Oct 29, 2009, at 4:56 PM

First of all I would like to say that this county is very lucky to have the service they do. I have worked in this county on and off the Amb. for over 12 years. I know things are not perfect but, No service is. We need more communication between the Amb. and police and fire. Everyone gets all fired up every few years about the Amb. They did when Athens had the contract. It is the same old thing. I would love the commisioners to know that the people that are complaning, are the same people that work for the other company that wants the contract. And some of the people work for this county in one way or another. People need to start telling the truth. Stop all the lies, don't come and help me out on the Amb. and then talk bad about us in the paper. Guess what you are volunteers if you don't want to help stay home! We well get by on are own. If the commisioners want to know what is going on then come and ask the people that work the streets every day. Come and ask us what is going on in brazil. I would be more that happy to tell them what is really happening in Brazil, and out in the county. Please don't get me wrong I love my volunteer firemen, most are more than happy to come out and help. They live for it.

Stop the lies people. And if you know Brazil very well than you know who I am. I would be more that happy to talk to anyone about this subject. And tell the truth. Not Lies!

-- Posted by verncat on Thu, Oct 29, 2009, at 7:43 PM

I wonder if Paul Sinders willing to accept "Request for Proposals" for a new commissioner. Mr. Sinders has done a pathetic job at best. _Paul, simply sit at Hardees in the morning and listen to the old timers talk so you can get a sense of what people think of the job you are doing as commissioner. Now to the real issue:

Regardless of who the ambulance service of choice is, the key ingrediant that must remain constant has to be paramedic service. This county has had too many years of an elementary ambulance service with Athens. Regarless of your view of Trans-Care, the bottom line is that lives have been saved as a result of moving to parmedic level service a few years. ago.

I wonder why Paul wants to get involved in handling billing questions from citizens. If the county wants to run an ambulance service, then they need to own and operate an ambulance service. Otherwise, they need to let Tans-Care deal with billing issues for one reason...can you say HIPPA. Paul, I thought you were a republican...keep government (you)out of issues between a customer and private business. The county is only paying Tans-Care for their service because the county is too small to operate an ambulace service with any quality without it. No county contract in a rural area is lucrative and we need to be thankful we have a company like Trnas-Care even willing to screw with us.

Another concern I had with the article is that Mr. Sinders is now suggesting where to put ambulances as back up. Paul, here is a piece of advice for you...let professionals do what professionals do. Unless you have data to support your recommendations, then SHUT UP.

In general, no ambulance company is perfect but Tans-Care has done an excellent job in my opinion. One thing we can be sure of: Lives have been saved as a result of moving to paramedic service a few years ago. Thank you Tans-Care what you have done. Most of us appreciate your service.

-- Posted by Lafin on Thu, Oct 29, 2009, at 11:10 PM

Max23 I can understand if its a 600 lb person but I was talking about 150 lb person you picked up from my home and also I dont work for the county or what ever other service there is. I have seen Trans care worker have there child with them on a call. I dont feel thats good. I just think they need to look at the ways to improve there service.

-- Posted by confused33 on Fri, Oct 30, 2009, at 9:08 AM

Confused is a good name for you. You are difinitely CONFUSED.I know for a fact there has never been a child with a Transcare Amb. That is the biggest lie I have heard so far. Just so you know CONFUSED......We don't ask for the help when we go on the run. The county dispatch sends them when we go out. We have nothing to do with people coming to help, or not. Before you tell lies on maybe you sould find out what is going on. I do think there need to be improvements. We need to all sit down and talk. I said, that years ago. No one wants to put everyone in the same room (police,fire,Amb,people of brazil)and talk this all out and see what is good for Brazil and all of Clay County.

-- Posted by verncat on Fri, Oct 30, 2009, at 10:57 AM

Trans-Care came and took care of my mom and they were very professional, all about making her comfortable and did a great job. That's all I can ask for.

-- Posted by whatsup on Fri, Oct 30, 2009, at 12:08 PM

Confused33, what will you think of to say next? You have never seen a child on the ambulance. I have been a emergency worker in the county for several years and have never seen a child on the ambulance. Lay of the drugs and maybe you wont be so Confused!!!

-- Posted by max23 on Sat, Oct 31, 2009, at 8:48 AM

I have seen this "child" on the ambulance...they call him Fish, and he's a Paramedic...I can see where you might be "confused"...

-- Posted by Jay741 on Mon, Nov 9, 2009, at 8:51 PM

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