County Commission okays Emergency Medical Board
The Morgan County Commissioners voted to establish an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Board to manage county services provided by Morgan County Rescue and the Paw Paw Volunteer Fire Department.
EMS Administrator Kevin Duckwall gave a copy of the board’s bylaws to commissioners at their Thursday, August 12 meeting. He said the board is patterned after the county’s fire board.
Duckwall first raised the idea to establish an EMS Board on June 24. The commissioners agreed in principal as long as bylaws were finalized and an agreement between EMS and the Sheriff’s Tax Office could be reached over costs associated with collection of the county’s ambulance fee.
Chief Tax Deputy Kim Michael said EMS and the tax office had reached an agreement. The tax office will collect the fee and receive 6.5% of all fees collected to offset costs.
Asked why the board was being established, Duckwall said it was a natural progression. The first step was to institute the ambulance fee. Now that the fee has been in existence for several years, it is time to look at a better way to manage it, he said.
“As it matures, we are just nurturing it,” Duckwall said.
The board will start up on October 1 and consist of eight members; the president of Morgan County Rescue, the president of the Paw Paw Volunteer Fire Department, a member from each rescue group, the EMS administrator, the medical director, a county commissioner and two citizens to be chosen by the commissioners.
Anyone interested in serving on the board can fill out an application at the county commission office.
Unpaid sent to collection
Michael said that as of May, $282,000 in delinquent ambulance fees were overdue for years 2007 – 2009.
She said the tax office will send a letter to those owing the fee in late November or December. If the fees are not paid within 90 days of the letter, a collection agency will get involved.
EMS already uses a collection agency to collect unpaid charges for transporting patients.
Being sent to a collection agency will reflect on a person’s credit report, Michael said.
County Grant Assistant Carol York presented the commissioners with five resolutions approving grants from the Governor’s Community Partnership Program.
A $5,000 grant was awarded to the Humane Society, and $5,000 to Parks & Recreation.
A $4,000 grant was awarded to the County Commission for courthouse furniture and equipment.
A $1,000 grant was awarded to the Great Cacapon Fire Department for hose repair, and $1,000 went to EMS for cardiac monitor mounts.