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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Commissioners elect to stay with TransCare

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thanks to a unanimous vote, residents of Clay County now know who will provide ambulance service for the next year.

In a special session Thursday morning, the Clay County Commissioners voted 3-0 to maintain status quo by inking a deal with TransCare.

TransCare has provided ambulance service for the county since 2005.

Contact negotiations between the commissioners and TransCare began in November.

"This has been a long, drawn out contract negotiation," Commissioner Charlie Brown said Thursday prior to the vote.

After hashing out a few issues, the commissioners and TransCare came to a deal for five-year deal that will be renewable each year. The commissioners have the right to cancel the contract at the conclusion of each year.

"I think this is in the county's best interest," Commissioner's Attorney Eric Somheil said.

"(The issues) were really all minor," Brown said. "Response time was a big issue and we worked on that issue and got it resolved."

Brown said communication was also an issue that was taken care of as well. He said in the new contract, monthly meetings will take place regarding the service.

"This was taken very seriously," Brown said of the negotiations. "This was really important. Very few people complained about the service they received. That was positive."

Brown motioned to accept the contract, with Commissioner Jack Withers giving the second.

Representatives from TransCare were in attendance at Thursday's meeting.

Rural/Metro Ambulance, based in Indianapolis, had also submitted a quote for the contract.

In other business, the commissioners:

* Voted 3-0 in favor of paying an additional supplement regarding bridge inspections.

The commissioners have worked with engineering firm Clark Dietz -- formerly Farrer Garvey -- to conduct bridge inspections. According to the commissioners, money for the projects came from a federal grant filed through the state that eventually is filtered to the county. The county only has to pay 20 percent of the total cost (approximately $400). The remaining 80 percent is paid through the grant money,

* Voted unanimously for a vehicle lease renewal for the Clay County Sheriff's Department, and

* Extended its annual contract with Purdue University to provide Extension Coordinator agents at the Clay County 4-H Fairgrounds, by a 3-0 vote.

The commissioners meet regularly on the first Monday of each month in the Commissioner's Courtroom of the Clay County Courthouse. Their next meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m., Jan. 4, 2010.

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Gotta' love these daytime meetings of elected officials. The majority of the working class can't attend.

-- Posted by Dagnabbit on Thu, Dec 17, 2009, at 8:41 PM

Remember that when election time rolls around.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Fri, Dec 18, 2009, at 1:05 AM

Even if this was the correct decision (I don't know if it is or not), I agree that it is irresponsible of this governing body to hold a vote on this issue at a daytime meeting. In fact, all of their meetings should be held in the evening. School Board and City Council meetings are always held in the evening for this very reason of allowing interested patrons to attend.

It really makes me wonder why they would choose to handle this situation this way.

-- Posted by ClayCountyGuy on Fri, Dec 18, 2009, at 7:55 AM

There is a state statue that dictates when commissioners hold their meetings. Commissioner meetings are typically held during the day in every county unless there is a special circumstance, and council meetings held during the evening. A few years back, Commissioners proposed to hold evening meetings and rotate them around the county. I don't remember the details but there was some regulation why they were not allowed to do so. Attend a County Council meeting if you would like to see the interest from the community in a night time meeting. I have been to three in the past two years and all three I was the only citizen there. If you don't like the decision the County Commissioners made, then go to the council meeting. They can stop the Trans-Care agreement from moving forward by refusing to pay for it.

Back to the ambulance issue. The commissioners pulled all the fire chiefs together for the entire county. When the two proposals were laid side by side, it was very obvious that Trans-Care was able to service Clay County better than Rural Metro and we made a recommendation as a group to the commissioners. Bryan Husband, Clay County's EMS director made it very clear to the commissioners that day that Trans-Care's proposal was the only proposal to consider. Trans-Care was able to put upwards of ten ambulances on the scene a few years ago at a chuch when the balcony collapsed. When provided with the same scenario, Rural-Metro could only put two ambulances on the scene. I will say also that this was the first time I believe we were ever asked as a group what our opinions were regarding ambulance service. Commissioner Andrews asked many of us privately when they were making the change from Athens to Trans-Care what our opinions were but it was nice to sit as a group and discuss it.

I am hopeful that people will respect the experience and knowledge of your emergency management team and first responders in the county. We made the recommendation to the commissioners based not on politics, but what was best for the county. Most of us volunteer our time and have nothing to gain by choosing Trans-Care over Rural Metro. The bottom line is the fire chiefs and EMS director felt that Trans-Care does a good job overall, had the ability to put more paramedics in the county, and could handle a mass casualty situation with more efficiency.

-- Posted by Lafin on Fri, Dec 18, 2009, at 10:45 AM

Thanks Laflin... It is a real pleasure to hear what really happened ... not hearsay.

Sounds like some decisions were made on the basis of facts and what would serve us the best.

Good Work.

-- Posted by BackHomeAgain on Fri, Dec 18, 2009, at 4:22 PM

I am glad that got settled. Way to go commissioners for asking the fire chiefs their opinions regarding the decision for ambulance providers.

Merry Christmas to all!

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Fri, Dec 18, 2009, at 4:35 PM

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