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Council funds EMS director's position

April 06, 2011
The Crawford Council, meeting March 8 at the judicial complex in English, approved funding for a full-time director of the county's ambulance service.

Acting on the recommendation of a committee they appointed to study the service, including issues with scheduling and collections, the county commissioners sought funding for the salary of a full-time director. For years, an emergency medical technician also served as a part-time director.

Jim Schultz, president of the board of commissioners, said the commissioners hoped to pay the director an annual salary of $25,000 to $32,000. He added that some of the applicants indicated they would not need health insurance, so benefits would not have to be paid.

"If this position is successful in recouping just 20 percent more (in billing than) what we did last year, this position is going to be (justified)," Schultz said.

He also said "an unrealistic load" has been placed on the current part-time director and suggested keeping that employee's annual pay at $29,000. The employee currently makes $23,000 for EMT duties and $6,000 for part-time director responsibilities. To justify maintaining the additional $6,000, Schultz suggested giving the employee extra duties, such as being responsible for the inventory of supplies. He explained that the new director will need to spend time on other duties.

Councilman Steve Bartels said he would only support such an arrangement during a transition period, not permanently.

"I think our bosses are watching on this," he said, referring to the taxpayers.

Following more discussion, Bartels made a motion to appropriate $25,000 to $30,000 a year for a director's salary and to reduce the current part-time director's salary by $6,000 following a 30-day transition period.

Schultz said he had a problem with that "because I felt like this person has been trying to do (the part-time director's job) and was dealt an unfair hand to start with, and to do reduce that pay now, I just feel like it's a slap in the face."

Councilman William Breeding asked would the other full-time EMTs then also want an extra $6,000 of pay.

"The problem is that you can't use your feelings in a lot of this," he said. "You've got to use what's right for everybody else. You've got to treat everybody alike."

"She's taking extra responsibilities on her own time," Schultz responded. "You can't justify that extra pay?"

The director is going to have a full plate, he added, saying that having someone else be responsible for keeping the ambulances stocked would be helpful.

Council President Jerry Brewer then asked what the council wanted to do. After Bartels said he wanted to leave his motion as presented, the council voted 6-0 (Councilman Jim Taylor was absent) to appropriate $25,000 to $30,000 a year for a director's salary and to reduce the current part-time director's salary by $6,000 following a 30-day transition period.

In a special meeting later that night, the commissioners hired John Gott to serve as the full-time director.

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