Not even two months into 2017 and the Pettis County Ambulance District has already responded to more calls than the same time frame in 2016.
During Tuesday night’s Board of Directors meeting, PCAD Administrator Mike Gardner said PCAD has responded to 840 calls so far this year, with the Windsor site responding to 170. While those numbers don’t include how many were transfers and how many were medical calls, Gardner noted that they are higher than this time last year.
According to a PCAD news release issued in mid-December, PCAD had made more than 6,000 calls for service in 2016 with two weeks to go before the end of the year, and another 800 in Windsor.
Gardner said he wants to focus on personnel and ambulances this year after several major building projects, the release states. One such way is PCAD implementing a new online class software, CE Solutions, to help with continuing education for employees.
“It’s an online class which the state recognizes,” Gardner explained. “What we’re going to do is (PCAD Education Director Eric Dirck) will basically assign three or four of those topics for them to do in a month, then when they come in for training they’ll go over all those topics. It’ll help us with a lot of our competencies.”
Gardner added that the new program will streamline what Dirck is already doing, plus it will allow employees to complete some of their classes on their own time, rather than when they’re tired from a long shift.
During a previous meeting, the board approved purchasing a new ambulance and staffing it with an additional 24-hour unit made up of part-time staff for the 2017 budget. Gardner said interviews have started for those part-time positions and a few people have already been hired. The idea is the additional part-time staff will help with the number of overtime hours.
“We’ve been really, extremely busy,” Gardner said. “… Everyone’s looking forward to that truck going come March.”
The board also discussed the possibility of changing the ambulance fee schedule due to impending requests from insurance companies.
“They don’t want us to break down our bill anymore — they don’t want the medications and all the procedures, they want it in one lump fee, just like Medicare does,” Gardner said. “It’s coming, it’s right on our doorstep. What they’re proposing is we combine all those fees into our rates, whatever it is we need to bundle.
“… Unfortunately we’re going to have to look at a somewhat higher rate and probably increase the mileage rate to compensate for what the insurance companies are going to do,” he added.
No decisions were made and Gardner said he would bring more information to the next meeting.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or on Twitter @NicoleRCooke.