The Starke County Council members heard a proposal for a primary transfer unit to work out of Starke Hospital in Knox.
EMS Director Travis Clary and Clerk Mary Lynn Ritchie previously provided information to the commissioners about retiring an ambulance once the new ambulance arrives and use the retired unit as the transfer vehicle. The commissioners supported the idea. A memorandum of understanding has been discussed between the county and Starke Hospital to make this the primary transfer unit. The document has not been signed, but County Attorney Marty Lucas has provided an agreement to hospital officials.
Ritchie said having the transfer unit would create over $200,000 next year in net revenue. With the council’s approval of three full-time paramedics and three full-time EMTs, staffing costs would work to be within the gross revenue.
In order to get this transfer unit started with supplies and payroll, Clary and Ritchie asked for $198,348.06. A new line item would be provided in the EMS budget for this transfer unit.
There was some question of when the transfer agreement would start. Commissioner Kathy Norem stated that it is the assumption that once the paperwork is approved and signed a primary transfer unit will be immediately be in service. The members of county government are unsure if there will be a spare ambulance available before the new rig is in the county’s possession in February or March in 2019. The two spare rigs currently available are often in service as other ambulances are undergoing maintenance.
The county council agreed to table the request until more information can be gathered by the commissioners.