WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH EMS IN JASPER COUNTY?

September 10, 2013
The EMS Committee has given the BOC its report as discussed in the 9/9/11 BOC meeting.  Video will be available at this website in the next day or two:
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoPEQUV_Qm7BTSucmeFNqsA

Here is a copy of the report:
http://www.taxdogs.com/EMS%20Committee%20Recommendations%20Sept2013.pdf

During the meeting the information was presented by Skip Davis from Turtle Cove.  Based on information we have received, Mr. Davis wrote the report with the possible help of Bobby Jacobs (City of Monticello) and Gary Norton (EMS).

Some of the things emphasized by Mr. Davis concerning the report were:

  • Having a Transport vehicle. This would be a not be a stand -alone service and would be a revenue generator.
  • Privatization does not work for Jasper County.  He said EMS can maintain 2 stations and in 2016 add a 3rd station in Shady Dale.   His plans were to have 4 ambulances by 2016 and 5 ambulances by 2020.
  • Lease ambulances.  According to the report this would be cheaper and better than owning the ambulances as the county does now.
  • Continue to increase fees charged by EMS.  Jasper County has been undercharging for last several years.  (This was also brought up by the previous director, Ellett Jackson.  Even though he tried to present the EMS budget with the increases he was not allowed to for over a month and then when he was given the opportunity, former County Manager Lorri Smith did all the talking and tried to downplay the benefit of the increases.  See video showing this at this post https://taxdogs.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/ems-budget-rate-increase-or-privatize/)
  • Stay with public supported EMS even though it has problems.
  • Put someone in charge and make sure they are IN CHARGE.  (Definitely a huge problem in the past years.  The director has not been allowed to actually be in charge.)

Comm. Trammell questioned overtime and how it was figured. Once again it was discussed how overtime was part of the pay due to the way EMS worked (so many hours on and then so many off resulting in overtime over a period of two weeks).  Please note that the county budget was balanced in the last day or two by cutting $50,000 from the EMS budget in the overtime line item.  It remains to be seen if the lower figure is even obtainable.

Comm. Pennamon then said the BOC will take the report under advisement.  He said the BOC will set up work session to review the information.   There were then some remarks by Karen Degges, County Manager, suggesting that the BOC could put EMS under Fire and change the pay structure for EMS.

Another item affecting EMS came up in the meeting.  A raise given to the Zoning Administrator is to come from the EMS budget.  You can listen to the entire conversation, but start at 3:20 on the video to listen to the County Manager saying the raise for Sherry Braley will come from the EMS budget.

Please check back at the new GaJasper Youtube channel to see the videos as they are posted:
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoPEQUV_Qm7BTSucmeFNqsA

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