Volume 4, Number 49 - March 3, 2005
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Health board approves 8.5 percent salary increase for EMTs
The Sublette County Rural Health Care Board held its second monthly meeting Monday, Feb. 28, at the Marbleton Fire Hall with all members present. A status update on the Marbleton heliport revealed that the lights are still not operable and no action has been taken to have the problem resolved. Intermountain Electric will be contacted and asked to look at the problem.
The salary schedule for Emergency Medical Service employees was reviewed and a new schedule was approved that provides an 8.5 percent increase and guarantees eight hours of overtime pay per week for full-time employees, and four hours overtime for part-time employees. This change resulted from a meeting with board members and representatives of both services.
Board Member Bill Barney noted "People came with an open attitude and did their homework. It was refreshing."
A request for temporary help from Dr. Judith Boyle at Pinedale was presented and the board authorized paying travel costs and travel time for any Marbleton emergency medical technicians who would volunteer to work there until new employees are in place.
A new policy for background checks and drug testing has been sent to the board's attorney for review and could be implemented at the next meeting. The board approved paying the new executive director Randall Johnson by the hour for work he does from home before he reports for work in Pinedale on April 1 and for any travel necessary between now and then. Board Member Garry Eiden protested, saying, "You're opening the checkbook for a guy you don't even know. Who will decide what he is paid for?"
This opened the door for numerous comments from the public, including Dr. David Burnett, who objected to the fact that neither he nor EMS personnel had an opportunity to meet the applicant who was hired even though prior arrangements were to have been made for that purpose.
"This matter makes me confident that I was right to terminate my contract," Burnett concluded.
Courtney Davis of Pinedale commented: "Your problems could be solved without this. When government creates jobs, it scares me."
Robin Miley and Tony Gosar also protested the spending of $70,000 per year, plus expenses and benefits, for a position they felt was not justified.
Regarding the new clinic projects, Board Chairman Jerry Jensen announced that everything is on hold. Engineers are looking at the Pinedale property to see if available space is adequate and no decision has been made about a location in either Big Piney or Marbleton. With no physician in Marbleton, the situation is further complicated.
Jensen indicated that rumors of a single clinic between Pinedale and Marbleton being considered do have some basis in fact.
Barney said, "When Dave decided to throw in the towel, the money was a factor in looking at one facility, but how in the heck are we going to staff a hospital when we can't staff clinics?"
Another issue was a request by Dr. Boyle for additional working space at Pinedale, especially in anticipation of increased workload with Marbleton not having after-hours emergency service available.
Board members Jensen and Mary Lynn Worl will meet with Boyle later this week to determine her needs. Eiden commented: "We need to do something - not just talk about it."
In discussion of recruiting a physician to replace Burnett, the board will place advertisements in appropriate publications and plan to form a committee composed of two board members and three citizens of the communities of Marbleton or Big Piney to assist in that search.
Anyone interested in serving on that committee should contact the board members serving, Garry Eiden and Bill Barney.
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