From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 3, Number 24 - September 11, 2003
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

RHCD lines out EMTs

by Cat Urbigkit

In Chairman Walt Bousman's absence, Vice Chairman Bill Barney ran Monday night's Sublette County Rural Health Care District board meeting in Marbleton.

One of the board's first actions was to go into executive session for nearly an hour, and including Pinedale Medical Clinic's Dr. Judy Boyle and Pinedale Emergency Medical Services Supervisor Wil Gay.

Upon returning into open session, Barney explained that the purpose of the session was to discuss personnel issues and the PEMS. At that point, board member Mary Lynn Worl made a detailed motion regarding the shift responsibilities of the district's full-time paid emergency medical technician staff. All members present, with the exception of board member Garry Eiden Sr., voted for Worl's motion, so it passed.

The bottom line is that the new policy attempts to guarantee there is a paid EMT in the ambulance barn at all times, which Barney said was the intent of the action. The action also called for alternating lunch hours so that the two full-time paid EMTs can't be absent from the barn at the same time.

When Boyle said, "It needs to be as soon as possible," the board agreed to begin implementation of the new policy for Pinedale effective 5 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 10.

In other business, the board approved the service contract with Intermountain Electric Service for monthly inspection of the generators at the county's two clinics and the Pinedale ambulance barn. The fee is $63 per unit, plus time and costs for maintenance work when needed.

The board discussed air conditioning for the clinics with Bob Johnson of Bridger Mechanical. Johnson suggested the board delineate what it wants so that proper bids could be submitted.

Gay reported that the new sign for the Pinedale ambulance barn is completed and scheduled to be installed on the front of the building very soon.

The board once again addressed the request by Pinedale EMT Amy Binning to have the district contribute toward the $2,400 intensive EMT training session in Teton County next month that she plans to attend. The board had agreed that her portion of the $600 per EMT allocation included in the budget could be used for this purpose. Binning had already paid $600 in pre-registration fees. Gay asked the board about paying the remaining $1,200 from the EMT training allocation, since there is usually money left over in that account at the end of the year. He said that at the end of the year, if there was a shortfall in the funds, the PEMS wouldn't want to be held responsible, but Binning could be held responsible for reimbursing the board for the difference.

"At the end of the year, we can reimburse her, but not until then," said board member Jerry Jensen.

Gay said that it was his understanding after the last meeting that the board would cut Binning a check for $1,800, and "if the money wasn't there at the end of the year, she'd be responsible for reimbursing the board."

Board members said that isn't how they recalled things. At this point in the meeting, the board ended up in two separate deliberations, with two discussions occurring at once, so little could be heard from the audience.

Gay asked the board to voucher Binning the money if there is money left over at the end of the year, but Eiden said, "I would never vote to guarantee her that ... nothing other than the $600."

"That's the way I feel," agreed Jensen.

Eiden noted that there will soon be an EMT class in Big Piney that Binning could attend instead of the one out-of-county, and said there is no guarantee that Binning will continue to be an EMT. He suggested the board stick to the training budget of $600 per EMT.

Worl said while she would consider reimbursing Binning at the end of the year, "that's not really guaranteeing."

Worl made a motion that Binning receive the original $600 agreed to by the board, and that the board would reconsider the issue at the end of the fiscal year, provided the PEMS recommended it do so. The motion passed with no opposition.

The board also agreed to fund another month of medical insurance coverage for a Big Piney EMT who had sustained a physical injury while off-duty and is currently unable to work and pay her insurance. The EMT had requested that the board pay her insurance costs, which total $265 per month, with the EMT committed to reimbursing the district once her condition has improved.

Worl noted that she has already reimbursed some of the money back to the district and made the motion to cover the insurance for another month. The motion passed with no opposition, although Eiden remained neutral on the issue.

The board briefly discussed the clinic addition process and decided to hold a work session to deliberate what direction to take. That session, which will also be a policy and procedures meeting, will be held Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. in Daniel.

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