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Meeting on the Future of Winnebago County EMT is Tonight

The Winnebago County Board of Supervisors special committee will meet tonight in Thompson to discuss options on the future of emergency medical services in the county. Winnebago and Hancock County Emergency Manager Andy Buffington explains what will happen in the Thompson Library at 6pm.

The meeting will address three possible solutions to resolving the staffing issues at the three sites in Forest City, Lake Mills, and Buffalo Center. Volunteers are working extra shifts beyond the forty-hour work week in order to ensure that an EMT or paramedic is available to answer an emergency call.

The committee has met four times previous to this one outlining the current status of EMT and paramedic services in the county.

The first option may cost property taxpayers forty-two cents per $1,000 evaluation but would provide $70,000 in funds can be used solely for Personnel Reimbursement, Training or Equipment (Not for vehicle acquisition) and $20,000 granted to each service that meets Winnebago County EMS System Standards annually at the end of the fiscal year. Each agency may receive up to $90,000.00 total. This option would be the least expensive for county taxpayers, but only last 1-3 years initially.

The second option is where each agency would turn over all assets to County. Upon receipt, County would determine any funding needs through EMS levy (personnel cost the first year). The county would hire 4-6 full time employees to provide 24-hour response capability. The county would retain volunteers to provide transport services.
The initial ballot question would raise funds to provide for staffing for the first year.
There could be nearly $750,000 in cash assets and there would be a single Medical Director for the County Service with single set of protocols for the county.
All Training, billing and supplies would be responsibility of the county.

The third and final option is where the county creates a response service to support the 3 existing services. County would hire 4-6 full time employees to provide 24-hour response capability. Local services would provide transport to hospital with minimum of a driver with preference being and EMT and a driver. The county will have 1 staff on duty 24 hrs/day and one staff working a 12-hour shift during busiest hours of
the day. The staff will have a supervisor responsible for scheduling, training and administrative tasks. The staff will be housed in Forest City and a central location such as the Thompson area.

The biggest issue amongst the three ambulance services in Winnebago county is staffing.

 

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