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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Search and Rescue closes

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Insurance costs and low donations have forced a local emergency unit to temporarily shut down.

As of 8:30 p.m., Thursday, the Clay County Search and Rescue board of directors announced it would be closing its doors and would remain out of service until further notice.

"We hate this. We live here and have friends and family in this community," CCSR Board Member TJ Modesitt said. "This isn't easy. We worry about what citizens in a time of need or in a medical crisis are going to do when other departments are busy or local ambulances are transporting patients."

Although the county provides some financial support to the CCSR, most of the funds necessary to cover the daily operating costs come from donations. Tough economic times and ever-increasing expenditures have hit the organization hard.

According to Indiana statute, CCSR is required to cover the 15 active volunteers with health/medical/life insurance and workman's comp along with vehicle and liability insurance, of which more than $2,500 in premiums were due Wednesday.

The organization also owes approximately $500 in outstanding basic utilities and other miscellaneous bills.

Board members hope the community will realize it's a small price to pay for the services provided by the volunteer organization.

CCSR has responded to approximately 400-450 requests for assistance so far this year, including help with medical runs, accidents and extrication assistance, mutual aide for other local emergency and law enforcement departments, traffic control at community events, storm clean up and various other calls.

"If we were toned out, we responded," CCSR Board Member Dave Watson said.

Without the necessary insurance, Watson told The Brazil Times the volunteer organization could not continue to operate in good conscious.

"We're down right now, but we're not out," Watson said. "We can still raise money so we can get the doors opened again."

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That is horrible...........I really worry about the future of a lot of very very much needed agencies. What a shame that these necessary agencies cannot even afford to operate, but yet there is so much money wasted on other things. Hopefully enough money can be raised for the doors to open again. Good Luck everyone.

-- Posted by JaniLou on Thu, Dec 2, 2010, at 10:13 PM

We are about to see a HUGH increase in volunteer fire calls to take up the void left by this closing...more $$$ to be burdened to those departments!

Thank you for your service CCS&R folks!

-- Posted by RickS on Thu, Dec 2, 2010, at 11:07 PM

No, Ill tell you what is horrible. The fact that the City of Brazil has a fully paid staff of "Professional" Firefighters that sit in the station all day and do nothing while Clay County Search and Rescue does all the grunt work serving the city BCFD are PAID to serve. Thats what is horrible. I wish that worthless mayor would do something about it and make that Fire Department run some medical emergencies like EVERY OTHER department. Heck, if she did it correctly it might even turn some revenue for the city of Brazil. That is if they maintained a City owned and operated ambulance instead of depending on Trans Care. Ive heard BCFD refuse to help Trans Care with patient care because it wasnt "life or death". Great job BCFD! Awesome public relations!

-- Posted by WhateversClever on Thu, Dec 2, 2010, at 11:18 PM

wow that stinks!!! well maybe BCFD can pick up the slack. that is if the mayor can maybe stop giving her family jobs there and start making them do the jobs that ALL other paid departments do!!!

-- Posted by FIREMEDIC on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 1:51 AM

How absolutely sad! Those guys run more than most in a given day. But then again everyone could probably figure this was going to happen -- I mean when the mayor is one to hire family over individuals, who deserved the job more than him, for open spots at BCFD. I have personally heard them say "is it life or death?" on the radio. I think they have alot of unecessary equipment if all their going to do is moonlight as "firefighters". I understand training COULD be an issue -- but I think it's more of Momma Bradshaw says we don't have too!

Thank god I don't live in city limits - thank you to all the volunteer fire departments who do so much for this county on minimal funding. It doesn't go unnoticed!

-- Posted by PutGrad06 on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 6:17 AM

think the county commisioners are just as much to blame and so is the Brazil City Council because they (the city) put a stop to organizations from collecting money like during Coverd Bridge time. That was CCSR biggest fund raisers. And the commisioners need to fork over more money to agencies that need it. How would they like it if they were in a accident and needed removed and they had to wait because the nearest volunteer fire departmnt was fighting a fire and had no one to send. And by the way Search and Rescue sent out a flyer asking for donations did you donate? If everone would donate just 10.00 it would help.

-- Posted by bandmom_63 on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 8:23 AM

My great grandparents (whose names are on the side of the S&R Truck) are surely turning in their graves. They worked so hard to make S&R a possibility in this town and now it's been thrown away.

I have grown up around S&R and they have always went above and beyond the call of duty for our community.

So many times I have seen the members of S&R out and about doing different things and all in the same day...you can drive by the BCFD building and they are out playing basketball or standing around chit chatting.

I wish I would have gotten a flyer from S&R...I would have given what I could.

Our community is really going down hill.

Don't fret G-pa & G-ma Monce...S&R will be back in action before we know it because it is such a good cause!!!

-- Posted by JQuick on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 9:27 AM

Alot of people in this county don't have a clue as to who runs what, the original plan who S & R was a group of people the sheriff or city could call upon to "search for and rescue if the needs meant.

If TransCare would do their part and donate monies to S & R all will have been fine. The Mayor has no part in the County affairs, Clay County Commissioner are in charge of that.elected people of Clay County.

If a "firefighter" gives a person a asprin while on duty he faces charges unless he is State certified to do so, all the people crying Sue out there, In other words "obey the laws written down, the Mayor is doing just that, Brazil has to take it up with their city council.

I don't live in Brazil, people get a scanner and tune in on 155.400. The people at TransCare will do the rest.

-- Posted by smallguysmalltown on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 9:54 AM

Why do some fire departments choose to go on EMS runs and some don't? Why are some fire departments staffed with EMS personal and some aren't? Who makes those decisions, how and why are they made? If tax dollers are involved does the public have the right to know how and why those decisions are made? Lots of questions, how does the public find out the real answers?

-- Posted by tcgfd1 on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 10:29 AM

As a member of Search and Rescue I must defend BCFD as they have nothing to do with this. This is just a fact of cost of living going up and our funding not being able to keep up due to lack of donations and having our most profitable means of fundraising taken away. This is not a time to fight with one another but is a time to pull together and work as a team to get through these hard times. Thanks for all the continued help and support and I hope we can be back on the streets serving our community as soon as possible!

-- Posted by TylerWHutcheson on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 11:11 AM

smallguysmalltown: It's not Trans-Care's fault so stop blaming them.

The Covered Bridge weekends were their biggest fund raiser of the year. They were providing a service for the City in the way of traffic control in addition to helping themselves financially. When the City decided to not let them do it at the 40/59 intersection....that hurt. Then the City moved them south to Pinckley and 59, that hurt. Yes, when the City of Brazil decided to not let organizations collect money at intersections that hurt S&R big! I know for a fact that they have tried several different fund raisers to try to help themselves....some turned out OK, some were disasters...but they tried. The County Commisioners cut some of their funds because that was the way it was at that time. Yes, that hurt S&R some more. We are all facing some very tough economic times and unfortunately S&R is suffering for it. They will be back! They have some very smart individuals that serve on their board, like Chief Dave Watson....they'll figure it out. But until then, drop some money off in their mailbox....525 E. National Ave., find some grants, do some more fundraisers, help them get this organization back on their feet. After all, the life they save my be yours, or your loved one!

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 11:34 AM

Let me thrust this point into this black hole of ignorance. Transcare should fund Search and Rescue because that is who benefits the most from their existence. They are able to shove their workload onto them, and other volunteer agencies and reap the benefits with less overhead. This idea that a Fire Department without medical equipment should respond to Medical Emergencies is ridiculous. This County pays for a privately owned Emergency Medical Ambulance service to provide care for their citizens. It comes at a cost to Taxpayers. They should be providing this service without assistance. That assistance is just like any other volunteer organization it depends on chance. Transcare has now run one of these organizations so much, it has put them out of commission. They can't even afford to maintain their original volunteer obligation to the County because a privatized emergency service has overused them and done it under the premise that these organizations should "all work together", and "just helping out". Closer to the truth, is they can't enough, might as well face it.

-- Posted by saintpetercilliniskillinem on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 1:35 PM

Finally a person that might know what he is talking about. A private ambulance company to provide medical care. Does medical care include extracating people from vehicles? Does medical care include getting the 700 pound person down a flight of stairs?

Perhaps the money would be better spent having each one of the county fire departments running their own ambulances in their respective juristictions.

Could it be done less expensive, more efficently?

Evidently the powers that be in county government don't think so. After all aren't they the entity that contracted with Trans-Care?

-- Posted by tcgfd1 on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 2:02 PM

This is not Trans-Care's fault at all. It is the ever growning cost to do anything. Trans-Care does not ask for assistance on everything. The 911 dispatcher sends them. Trans-Care does loads of runs without assistance. Athens did the same thing. Trans-care replaces all equipment used by the fire depts that assist them on runs. S&R nicley volunteered to assist in the city limits due to BCFD not willing to help. To Saintpetercillion How can you say trans-care is puting work load on them? And to the point of no medical equipment at the fire house. BCFD did have medical bag on truck and took it off that is a known fact through the county. Also How can BCFD be considered Rescue and provide extrication on car accidents? It is a NFPA and state standard that you must have at least first responders and basic life support medical equipment.

-- Posted by cityinneed on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 2:19 PM

This is truly sad time for CCSR, I was a member back a few years ago. The only question I have is where do I send the donation, I happen to live out of state.

If I knew sooner that the department was in trouble I would have sent my donation sooner.

SR 90

-- Posted by edlittle on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 2:21 PM

The address is up in my post but here it is again.

Clay County Search and Rescue

525 E. National Ave.

Brazil, IN 47834

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 3:41 PM

I seriously hope they do get back on their feet, but I doubt I'd "drop some money off in their mailbox....525 E. National Ave.". That area will be buzzing tonight with derelicts looking for that mailbox.

I'll donate 20 bucks. I'll take it to T.J. Modesitt at Superior Auto at National and Depot.

-- Posted by Dagnabbit on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 3:56 PM

How did Search and Rescue come into being? They have long history in the county. Long history of assisting other agencies. How many of those agencies made a profit off of medical emergencies? Asking fire departments to provide medical care is like asking a private ambulance service to extricate passengers from auto accidents. Some just aren't equipped, or they lack the training. Each agency has it's role. It's up to the leadership, or management, or governing body of the organization to decide how much additional responsibilities, liabilities, can be afforded and controlled with the resources and funding available. The one differing characteristic, between Fire Departments, Police Departments, Search and Rescue, and Private Ambulance Services, is that only one is making a profit. While the assisting volunteer agency suffers from high housing and fuel costs and unaffordable insurance premiums and temporarily stops operating. The private ambulance services continues reaping the benefit of a county contract, additional billing, and convalescent payments. The expense that isn't being measured by the Ambulance Contract is the cost to volunteer agencies that do their best to assist a profiting company.

-- Posted by spiritof56 on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 4:22 PM

Not all ambulance services make a profit like you might think. They do have higher fuel,maintence,insurance,equipment and more paid employees. They also can not charge for every run and loose alot of money due to patients with no insurance and medicare doesnt pay well either. Police departments do make a profit. from burn,gun permits and all the tickets they hand out. It's true fire depts do not make a profit from medical runs. That is due to the fact that they can not charge it is a law, if you do not transport you can not charge. They can charge for fire's and vehicle accidents. Trans-care can not charge either. They do alot of runs that they use equipment and do not transport therefore they due loose money for that run. Thats just the way it is all over the state. If you think the fire dept's should be able to charge for medical emergencies then contact the state EMS commision.

-- Posted by cityinneed on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 6:14 PM

This is so sad S&R has been in this county my whole life, I dont think there is any easy answer but, The city should allow them to collect money at 40/59. Hopeful someone can come up with a way to raise money. I will drop mine off

-- Posted by kd323 on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 7:22 PM

Search and rescue makes many runs, mostly medical in nature. They are not a Fire Department. They don't have the cost of personnel services. No paid members. Why don't they begin transporting? To make money, in the area that they have training,and interest. There's an answer! A non profit agency, like Search and Rescue, begins an ambulance service to compete with Trans Care. Why wouldn't that work? Maybe they could run a cab system too?

-- Posted by spiritof56 on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 7:28 PM


So are you the same Mr. E.D.Little that stole equipment from S&R a few years back and then moved out of state. There is a outstanding bench warrant for $5,000 for the equipment in your name. If so why not pay the money and then they can operate for a full year. That would be the thing thing to do if you really care.

-- Posted by max23 on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 9:20 PM

People dont understand how much funding it takes to start and operate a ambulance. It takes countless manhours to get vehicle,equipment,certifications,insurance and personnel. Some townships have looked into the possibilty of doing so and found out fast that it is really not a option. If a dept. was to start a ambulance to transport patients they have to staff it with paramedics due to county contract. A dept can not offer basic ambulance transport when county has a paramedic contract with trans-care. They can not single out certain parts of the county to recive lower services. If a dept. was to to offer basic ambulance services they would still have to respond with trans-care for a paramedic to treat the patient. It really is more than just buying a ambulance and throw some things on it and start hauling people around.

-- Posted by cityinneed on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 10:15 PM

Would it be prudent for Search and Rescue to merge with the volunteer fire departments? They all are toned out and respond to the same incidents?

As far as BFD being accused of just sitting around doing nothing, playing basketball, etc...just what do you want them to do for 24 hours when they are not on calls? Volunteer departments are not manned 24 hours a day. You can only wash a fire truck so many times. There might be a few more civic duties they could provide, but I'm not sure I would want them out directing traffic or parking cars or even assisting an ambulance call if my house was on fire and I wanted a quick response.

-- Posted by lifehasitsmoments on Fri, Dec 3, 2010, at 11:03 PM

max23 didn't you marry edlittle's ex wife!?

Just sayin! even if you are correct!

-- Posted by FIREMEDIC on Sat, Dec 4, 2010, at 1:22 AM

Whats it matter if he did or not. At least he knows the facts unlike alot of people that comment in here. It isnt a secret that Mr. Little owes money to S&R. He was just calling him out in his comment that if he knew they was in trouble he would have sent them money. He knows they need money and somewhat due to him. But he wont do anything about it. He just runs from everything.

-- Posted by cityinneed on Sat, Dec 4, 2010, at 8:50 AM

I think alot of this has to do with Trans=care over using the volunteers. Also trans-care makes money or they wouldnt be doing it. They only offer paramadic to the north part of county if ones needed in south end they have to meet up. So I dont see why there couldnt be basic alm. transport, they already do all of trans cares work any way. Darrell Andrews has trans care to far in his pocket for the county to get rid of them.

-- Posted by kd323 on Mon, Dec 6, 2010, at 8:11 AM

Trans-Care does have a medic in the Clay City. Everday 24-7 there is one in the south. The volunteers dont do all the work if you think so then you are wrong. Why would you want a Basic ambulance? Im sure if you needed a ambulance and a basic ambulance arrived you would complain. Why would you want to down grade and go back to the olden days?

-- Posted by cityinneed on Mon, Dec 6, 2010, at 12:59 PM

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