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EMS transfer numbers steady, non-transfer numbers up

Staff writer

EMS numbers for transfers in October may be down three from last year, but the number for non-transfer calls is still an issue.

EMS director Brandy McCarty brought up at Monday’s meeting with commissioners that even though the number of transfers for October 2015 were 104, down from October 2014, non-transfer calls rose from 18 in 2014 to 32 this month.

“(The city of) Marion had 40 calls, but 14 were non-transports,” McCarty said, “so that’s our biggest problem.”

McCarty said most non-transport calls aren’t called in by patients themselves, but rather a worried neighbor, friend, or family member.

“It’s like a neighbor who calls over and says they don’t feel good, and then the neighbor ends up calling 911,” McCarty said. “Then the neighbor ends up saying, ‘Hey, I’m OK’ and refuses transport. We’re working with crews to lower that number.”

EMS does not bill non-transport patients unless the patient has more than two non- transports within a 60-day period, then they are billed $175.

“No transports, no funding,” McCarty said.

When asked how she plans to work with crew members, McCarty said that in order to lower numbers of non-transport calls, she will try to teach them how to handle the situations.

“Just to educate the crews on sympathizing with the patient and assuring them that they may need to see a physician,” McCarty said, “but we also know that if they call us and they don’t need to see a doctor, or if they don’t want to, there’s nothing we can do about it; but we want to sympathize with the patient on both sides.”

McCarty also told commissioners that an EMR class was in full session and going well.

“We have seven students still in the class,” McCarty said. “We had 15 sign up and seven came back, but that’s typical.”

The class started Oct. 6, and is tentatively scheduled to go until the end of February.

In other business:

  • Commissioners approved $450 for another year of National Association of Counties membership, agreeing that if they don’t utilize the benefits more by next year, they would look into discontinuing their membership. “Let’s see what happens,” Dallke said, “and if we draw a blank, we can make that move next year.”
  • A public hearing for vacating the roadway near 280th and Goldenrod Rds. by Durham was set for 9:40 a.m. Nov. 9 in the commission chambers.
  • Commissioners approved a proposal by Jesse Hamm to finish fixing the last 10 miles of Diamond Rd.
  • Emergency Management Director Randy Frank and Sheriff Robert Craft received permission to buy an all-terrain vehicle with money from a $12,000 Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad grant. The vehicle will be used for incidents that call for looking off roads. “Probably about four times this summer, we would have used it,” Craft said.

Last modified Oct. 21, 2015

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