Action was taken to approve an increase for Pulaski County EMS workers.
In a previous meeting, EMS Director Nikki Lowry requested a wage increase for her workers to keep staff in her department. Lowry has experienced a severe turnover in staff in the last few months due to better pay by other County EMS departments. In order to be competitive with surrounding agencies, Lowry asked that the Council help in approving an increase in wages for the staff.
Pulaski County EMS Director Nikki Lowry is still in need of paramedics for her department.
She told the commissioners this week that she is currently in the hiring process for staff. While she gets plenty of applications for basic life service, she needs to have advanced life service staff, which is required.
Paramedics continue to cycle out of the Pulaski County EMS department which leaves the department shorthanded.
Brandon DeLorenzo from Pulaski County EMS told the commissioners this week that they are still working on getting paramedics at the department and to keep them there. Paramedics are in high demand and in desperate need at the Pulaski County facility.
Pulaski County EMS Director Nikki Lowry told the commissioners Monday night that she has hired seven part-time personnel to help with the shortage of staff and training is ongoing this week.
While that helps cover shifts, Lowry explained that only one of those hired is a paramedic. All of the other new hires are basic life service trained only. One may move to a full-time position. She said at least one paramedic is needed per shift and there is one on each shift now.
The Pulaski County EMS staff members are looking for a new ambulance as the refurbished ambulance can not be certified.
The ambulance was damaged in a fire at Wagner Performance Diesel Repair near Star City on Feb. 7. In the last meeting of the Pulaski County Commissioners, it was reported by the county’s insurance agency that Wagner’s insurance company has accepted responsibility for the fire.
The county commissioners last week interviewed five applicants during an executive session meeting at the request of director Nikki Lowry. She works closely with all of the applicants and wanted to avoid the appearance of favoritism.
Pulaski County EMS is down one ambulance until one damaged during a recent fire can be either certified and put back into service or totaled and replaced.
Director Nikki Lowry told the county commissioners Monday that the county’s insurance adjuster asked her to inspect the truck. Lowry said she’s not qualified to do anything more than determine whether it’s clean. The vendor from whom the county bought the most recent ambulance is willing to help if the county will bring the truck to Iowa.
The Pulaski County Commissioners last week approved two purchases for the county EMS department and the recycling center. Ed Clark, director of the recycling center, approached the commissioners and explained that the motor on the center’s baler has burned up and needs repaired at a cost of $900, the lowest of three bids.
The Pulaski County Commissioners this week heard a report from Nikki Lowry with the Pulaski County EMS. Lowry said her department is all caught up on past due accounts, and they are doing a cost assessment to get more reimbursements from Medicaid.
Pulaski County EMS Director Nikki Lowry has the blessing of the county commissioners to add more part-time employees to her roster in order to adequately staff the service. Right now the county has three full-time and three part-time paramedics. Lowry says they are stretched thin trying to make sure all shifts are covered and the state’s requirement of having a paramedic on duty 24/7 is met. The service is subject to hefty fines if the state mandate is not met. The county commissioners told Lowry to go ahead and advertise for more part-time paramedics and said adding them to the on-call rotation will not be a problem as long as she has money in her budget to pay their wages.
Several West Central students will be getting an up close and personal look at the inner workings of the Pulaski County EMS as they start job shadowing EMTs beginning next semester. At least ten students from the West Central Health Occupations class will begin shadowing at the EMS Department in January.
EMS Director Nikki Lowry explained that this is the second time since she became director in June 2011 that the Health Occupations class has shadowed EMTs, for a good reason: she said it exposes them to the reality of what EMTs do on a daily basis.
With over $110,000 in uncollected overdue bills, the Pulaski County EMS may soon be looking to get more aggressive in getting money they are owed. While Commissioner Ken Boswell recommended that the EMS step up their collection efforts, he also expressed that those who are at least making an effort to pay should be given leniency.
The Pulaski County EMS is in an inconvenient situation with one truck out of commission and another being serviced because it has been belching black smoke. Nicole Lowry asked the commissioners to approve the replacement of a 6 liter diesel engine with a 7.3 liter diesel engine, with an estimated cost of $20-$32,000. Wagner’s Performance Diesel will be performing the conversion, which includes changing wiring harnesses, as well as the electrical components in the vehicle, which makes it a pretty tough job.
A new ambulance may be en route to the Pulaski County EMS. Jason Rogers of the EMS told the Commissioners that they’ve been having a large amount of ambulance problems: One of their trucks has broken down and needs a new fuel injection system for the third time, another truck also needs repaired, and a third truck is unable to be used because the state no longer commissions it.