Board OKs BLS staffing, DOT agreement

By Mary Zielinski
Posted 11/16/21

On Tuesday, Nov. 16, Washington County EMS and Ambulance Department Director Jeremy Peck explained to the Board of Supervisors that last week’s discussion about the Basic Life Support (BLS) …

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Board OKs BLS staffing, DOT agreement

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On Tuesday, Nov. 16, Washington County EMS and Ambulance Department Director Jeremy Peck explained to the Board of Supervisors that last week’s discussion about the Basic Life Support (BLS) truck dealt with staffing for the service for which the department is now taking applications. Specifically, it is seeking two full-time certified paramedics. It is also expected that the unit will provide service in adjacent counties with 60% of revenues for transport from Medicare. The estimated excess is $272,706, making it a self-sustaining service.

The staffing is expected to be in place by the end of December or the first of 2022, said Peck. He also explained that when it comes to calls and transfers, he expects “we will have more than we can handle.” Plans for the BLS truck were discussed in detail and approved earlier this year.

The board also unanimously approved an agreement with the Iowa Department of Transportation for a $77,000 grant to aid with purchase of a new low diesel emission dump truck (replacing the old 20-year-old truck).

County Engineer Jacob Thorius said the new vehicle cost is approximately $220,000, and that the possible $10,000 from selling the old one at auction also will be applied to the costs.  He added that he regularly seeks grants for which the county is eligible.  The grant funds are part of the federal Diesel Emission Reduction Act.

In other business, the board:

• approved the lease with Federation Bank for office space in its downtown building for the juvenile court at $600 per month.  The fee includes all utilities as well as trash pickup.  Terms include a $200 damage deposit and partial payment of the last month rent of $400 from the previous lease;

• officially hired the new Public Health Administrator, Emily Huston Tokheim (interim administrator Chris Estle, noting the name change, said that “she is getting married this weekend.”) The bi-weekly salary of $2,681.99 is effective November 29. An open house for the new administrator is set for December 1, at 1 p.m.  at the public health office, Federation Bank building;

• approved hiring Zachary Hansen for Washington County resource unit at $12 hourly, effective November 17;

• approved termination of Kallie McQuiggin, communications, effective November 3;

• approved a resolution for a 28E agreement with the state to implement the county land record information system, which is for all 99 counties; and

•following a recess, conducted the second tier of the November 2 elections, specifically the school board election.  It previously canvased the municipal elections last week, for which there were no changes.

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