From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 4, Number 42 - January 13, 2005
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

EMT tenders resignation

by Bill Boender

The Sublette County Rural Health Care District Board met in Marbleton on Monday, Jan. 10, with all members present and a lengthy agenda containing 31 items.

A request by the board to have the clinics included in the county maintenance program was rejected by the county commissioners, so the board may advertise for someone to contract that service. In the past, it has been difficult to get routine repairs and maintenance done.

The new heliport at Marbleton continues to have problems with new lighting fixtures, with all lights not operating after routine snow removal. Board Member Bill Barney reported that they had been properly installed and were capable of handling 30,000 pounds of down pressure. Board Member Garry Eiden, who has done much of the snow removal, contended that they stuck up above ground and could not be cleared with equipment without damage.

When the subject of emergency medical technician salaries was raised, the discussion became spirited. The Pinedale emergency medical services presented a formal request for an 8.5 percent, across-the-board salary increase based on the pay increases granted to other county employees over the past three years. Board Member Mary Lynn Worl suggested approving an increase of approximately 5 percent at once, making it retroactive for those EMTs who were past their annual service anniversary. Worl also commented that the board should review salary schedules as well as the benefit package and consider further increases during the budget review in June.

Wil Gay, Pinedale EMS supervisor, objected to that action, referring to the salary increase granted to Board Clerk Jauna McGinnis as having been much higher than that offered to the EMTs. Worl pointed out that the clerk increase was based on several factors other than cost-of-living and was, in fact, justified and well deserved.

Gay replied, "I don't give a crap if she deserved it - what was the percentage?"

Barney moved to approve the 4.2 percent pay increase for all classes of employees, retroactive for all whose anniversary occurred since August of 2004. This motion was approved, with Eiden opposed. Eiden said he supported the larger increase requested by the EMS. At this point, Gay tendered his resignation as a full-time employee and supervisor, stating that he would continue as a volunteer.

Bonnie Chambers of Chambers Design-Build, Inc. addressed the board, indicating interest in participating in the clinic projects, and gave the board some background regarding her company history and experience. The board advised Chambers that a contract was already in place with Davis Partnership as architect and with GE Johnson Company as contractor, even though final plans are not determined.

Chambers was advised to consider participating in the Pinedale ambulance barn project, as that job has not been awarded and may be opened to bidding by local contractors. In her presentation, Chambers reiterated those points made by retired engineer Bill Schertz and local contractor Van Huffman, that local contractors and common design could save considerable money as compared to pursuing the original plan.

Regarding the search for a director, Worl advised the board that three more applicants will be interviewed in coming weeks. Barney suggested that applicants be introduced to physicians and EMS personnel during their visits to give all parties an opportunity to get acquainted.

Due to the many items to be considered at meetings, the board agreed to meet twice a month starting in February so that more can be done with fewer items tabled at each meeting. Meetings will be alternated between Pinedale and Marbleton/Big Piney on the second and fourth Monday of each month.

In conjunction with this change, Barney moved to limit citizen requests to be placed on the agenda to once a month. This motion was defeated by a three-to-two vote, with only Worl voting with Barney. Eiden commented that it is the duty of the board to listen to all who wish to offer input.

The board went into executive session to discuss Marbleton and Big Piney property purchases for the new clinic before adjourning, taking no further action.

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