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Ambulance Committee Minutes – April 22, 2021

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Ambulance Committee
22 APRIL 2021

Committee Members in attendance: David Wamble, Chairperson, Joyce
Woodard, David Adams, Roger Reedy, Joseph Sutton, Gayle Jones (for Brad
Butler), Judy Pruett (for Terry Harwell) Other Commissioners: Duane Jones,
Mike Cesarini, Tommy Pollard, Larry Worsham, Erin Curry, Rose Brown,
Tracy Wilburn, Harold Brooks, Bill Cary Other: Melissa Greene – County
Executive, Beth Moore-Sumners and Nancy Griffin – Financial Management,
Roy Griggs and Chastity Hobbs – Ambulance, Bill Young, Scott Stewart –
Pulaski Citizen
Chairman David Wamble opened the meeting. Since prayer and pledge were
given in previous meeting, they were foregone. Minutes from previous
meeting approved after change noted that last sentence on page 1 should be
struck. Motion by Gayle Jones and seconded by Joyce Woodard. Motion
Roy Griggs noted his appreciation for the recent state amendment showing
ambulance service as an essential public service. This designation could and
has affected grants.
Agenda Item – Budget – Discussion as follows:
Beth noted for all that the budget being reviewed does not include the 27th
salary payments in it – first time in 11 years. She has done this to allow a
better comparison between years, but will be shown in final budget. Budget
LI 328 for cleaning services is increase due to need to clean 3 stations once a
week (ambulances are still done by EMTs). Roy has had conversations with
possible bidders, but they need to come by to see job. Per Mike this should
be looked at for potential county need which might exceed $25K. Beth
stressed for now each department brings their budget.. Later looks might
include more coverage to individual departments.
New billing process – previous contract support has been totally unacceptable
for county and for patients that are being billed. On Jun 1st new company
starts. Company is Digitech and was the only company willing to turn in quote to meet our more stringent requirements. However given that limited
response, the company did have a lot to offer, already having experience with
Metro Nashville and Chattanooga. They also are offering new and more upto-date technology. There will be a need for a resolution in full court. Gayle
moved to provide resolution and Joseph seconded and motion was approved.
Per Melissa Green, there will be a special call meeting for full court on 7
May 2021 and this Resolution will be on the agenda. In addition the
regularly scheduled meeting will also take place in May. On asked if one
year or three, Chastity said our option. Mike asked, since a three year
contract with Mars before, would we be libel for termination costs. Melissa
said attorney looking but based on our losing revenue while that company
was in place that should more than offset any potential termination costs.
One of the requirements for a new company is having an audit which is
required by statute and they were the only ones to have that. On more
potential bidders, this was an RFP for professional services. The need to
develop better on our end was stressed to make sure what happened with
previous company doesn’t happen again. Write-offs also mentioned and
Gayle asked that the Ambulance Dept develop a better policy and bring back
to commissioners. Beth on wording in resolution should show numbers of
years (committing to one year). Gayle amended motion to add one year,
lining up with RFP, David Adams seconded. Amendment approved. Mike
asked about depreciation on short term contract and was told would come out
of collections.
Time Keeping: Need program specific to emergency services although jail
possibly could use same type as well. Now using old technology: paper,
whiteouts, Supervisor responsibility to do time and scheduling. New contract
includes scheduling and certification, e.g. out of date drugs, CPR card..
Budget showing $5700 annual fee. Question on all county possibly using
same technology and comment to leave in Ambulance only now for budget
purposes. TN Care will increase their reimbursement percentage but cost for
ambulance service will always exceed income, per Roy. Argument against
privatization not truly a service to all. The budget shows a restructure cost
(approx $90k increase) to try to keep newer employees longer by shorting the
time frame for when they would get increases. LI 452 will not show in any budgets due to breaking into individual parts for
transparency. Lucas device expect to be covered by grant is possible. Roger
motioned for approval of budget David Adams seconded. Motion approved.
Remount to be determined after Gov Lee decision on federal funding.
Agenda Item: Location for Ambulance as well as buying land potentially for
other purposes. Estimates have climbed significantly on construction costs,
e.g. 3X. Melissa asked for guidance on how to proceed. Property discussed:
acreage behind Schwan building and acreage across from Flat Rock which
was originally an airport problem purchase. Roy said if not a new location,
current facility not up to code and needs major upgrade. Roger requested
Melissa Greene determine if the property behind Schwan might be for sale
and if the property near Flat Rock is in the flood plain.
Motion to adjourn by David Adams and seconded by Roger was approved.