Windsor residents won’t have to wait much longer for an ambulance service after the Windsor Ambulance District Board of Directors approved a mutual aid contract with the Pettis County Ambulance District during its meeting Tuesday night.
The PCAD board approved the contract during its meeting last week, and now that WAD has done the same, ambulance service is expected to return to the City of Windsor in February. Members of the Windsor Fire Department, PCAD and other citizens were in attendance Tuesday to hear the plans.
WAD Board Chairman Steve Galloway said they will pay PCAD $20,000 for the first year of service, with the remainder of the 2016 budget being devoted to managing the district’s debt. The second year will be $30,000, the third year will be $40,000, the fourth year will be $50,000 and the districts will renegotiate the contract, and the fifth year will be $60,000.
Galloway said all billing and personnel matters will be handled by PCAD, noting that patient care charges will be set by PCAD. Now that both entities have approved the contract, more details will be planned and the two-man crew will be hired.
“I just want to make sure everyone knows that even though we’re Pettis County Ambulance District, we’re coming in here as your ambulance district and I want you to feel free to call me, come over by the base,” said PCAD Administrator Mike Gardner. “I intend on being in town hopefully once a week in the office we’re going to set up at 111 Jackson St. (in Windsor). I’m here to hear everyone’s concerns.
“I just want to make sure we all get off on the right foot and I really want to build the confidence in this community again in a real ambulance district that you guys can be proud of, and hopefully one day we can turn this over to you guys again and set a good standard. That’s our goal — great medical care for your community and that’s all we care about.”
Gardner said one of PCAD’s five ambulances will be transferred to Windsor once service starts in the beginning of February. PCAD is expecting a delivery of a new ambulance in February or March, and that ambulance will also be sent to Windsor; one of the two ambulances will be used for transfers to and from hospitals and nursing homes.
Gardner also said some of PCAD’s calls will be serviced by the new Windsor station if that unit is closer than Sedalia headquarters.
PCAD will continue to serve at high school athletic events as needed as well as other community events, free of charge.
“We’re big about getting out in the community and doing things for people,” Gardner said. “We don’t hide behind the ambulance and inside the doors, so if there’s a need for us, if we can make it we’ll be there.”
WAD board members repeatedly expressed how “grateful” they are to PCAD for being willing to extend its service to Windsor.
“It’s good to be at this point,” Galloway told the Democrat after the meeting. “We’ve still got a long ways to go and several other issues to work through, but we’re very thankful to be able to provide an ambulance service to the community.”
The WAD board will manage the contract with PCAD and continue to chip away at the district’s debt. WAD still owes money to the state and federal IRS, as well as money to two separate banks for the district’s two ambulances, which are not mechanically sound.
The board has been paying a $500 monthly payment to the IRS, due to a two-year payment schedule that was in place before the current board was appointed this summer. Galloway said they are nearing the end of that schedule and the board plans to negotiate a new payment schedule with the IRS.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1482 or @NicoleRCooke.