‘Seamless’ transition for Pettis County Ambulance District in Windsor

By Nicole Cooke - [email protected]

By Nicole Cooke

[email protected]

It’s been almost three months since the Pettis County Ambulance District agreed to provide service to the Windsor Ambulance District, and so far, things have been going smoothly for PCAD’s newest location.

Ambulance service ceased in Windsor in June 2015 due to lack of funds and employees. Since that time, the new WAD board, appointed in July, has worked to chip away at the district’s debt and find a way to bring an ambulance service back to the area. PCAD and WAD entered into a five-year agreement in December 2015 to help Windsor residents.

PCAD treats the new Windsor site as a satellite station, rotating shifts to the site on a monthly basis.

“It’s been going really well. We’ve been really well accepted, I think overall our employees enjoy working over there. It’s really been seamless actually,” said PCAD Administrator Mike Gardner. “… We talked to (the PCAD employees) about maybe shortening up (the Windsor rotation), but they like it because you get that 30 days, they’re getting more used to people, learn their way around. It’s been beneficial and everyone has liked that schedule.”

As of Tuesday, PCAD has had 153 emergency calls for service from the Windsor site since starting service in late February. Gardner noted that number was mostly what they had expected.

“That’s all 911 emergency calls. We haven’t gotten a whole lot of transfers yet, we hope that will change at some point in time,” he said. “That’s quite a few emergency calls if you think from the first part of March until now, that’s quite a bit.”

When the PCAD employees aren’t out on a call, they’re talking with grateful community members who are keeping the staff well fed.

“It’s been wonderful for those guys, it seems like someone is always bringing them something to eat, dropping off food and coming over to say thank you all the time,” Gardner said. “I think it’s pretty overwhelming, they really appreciate us being there.”

On the financial side, the WAD board is working on obtaining help with the district’s debt owed to the state and federal IRS. A minimum monthly payment is being made, WAD board chairman Steve Galloway previously told the Democrat. According to the minutes from Wednesday’s board meeting, the board has submitted IRS Form 433B, which is used when a business owes federal taxes and cannot immediately pay them. The meeting minutes state it will be 90 to 180 days before the board can expect a response. Galloway also plans to reach out to U.S. Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler to see if she can offer the district any assistance.

While it won’t be much, the board hopes to receive some revenue from the sale of the district’s three ambulances. All three have been posted for sale and board members have received calls of interest.

The minutes also state the remaining furniture and equipment in the former WAD building will be auctioned at a date to be determined.

At the new site, Gardner said everything is completed on the residence where employees live and the ambulance bay, which will also be used to store medical supplies, is about 75 percent complete. The garage is needed so PCAD’s two newest ambulances, which the district obtained last month and sent to the Windsor site, can be in a more protected, controlled environment.

Gardner said there haven’t been any issues so far with the transition to working in Windsor, noting the employees have been able to find their way around Windsor easily.

“Everything is going really well just like we hoped it would,” he said. “We’re just continuing on and I think it was a smart, good community move for everyone involved so they have an ambulance there. No complaints from anyone.”

Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.

Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.

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