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Colfax approves hiring LTE 30-hour EMT

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX  —  The Colfax Village Board has approved hiring another 30-hour Emergency Medical Technician on a temporary basis until the end of the year.

The part-time volunteer EMTs with the Colfax Rescue Squad are not able to cover all of the hours that need to be covered, said Don Knutson, director of the Colfax Rescue Squad, at the Colfax Village Board’s June 22 meeting.

The Colfax Rescue Squad, in addition to Knutson as the director, currently employs two 30-hour per week permanent EMTs.

Because the part-time volunteer EMTs are volunteers, Knutson is not able to schedule them for certain shifts and cannot require them to cover those shifts.

All of the part-time EMTs have jobs, children and other commitments, Knutson said.

“When they can’t (cover a shift), it’s like a lot of them can’t,” he said.

The problem then becomes that Knutson ends up covering many of the extra hours himself.

Knutson has been covering so many extra shifts at the rescue squad he has been unable to take vacation time he has been accumulating.

The rescue squad budget does have money available to pay for a LTE 30-hour EMT, Knutson said.

The Colfax Village Board’s Public Safety committee reviewed the proposal for a temporary 30-hour EMT and recommended hiring a third EMT.

According to a cost analysis provided to the village board, if a 30-hour temporary EMT is hired at $10 per hour and accepts health insurance, the total cost for the remainder of the year would be $12,573.

If the EMT were hired for $12 an hour and accepts health insurance, the total cost for the remainder of the year would be $14,366.

For the entire year, at $10 per hour, with health insurance, the cost for another 30-hour EMT would be $19,972. At $12 an hour for an entire year, with health insurance, the cost would be $25,097.

Hiring a limited-term EMT will allow the village to evaluate the need for the position before the budget is set for 2016, said Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer.

Scott Gunnufson, village president, said he had not realized volunteers could not be scheduled and required to work, so hiring a 30-hour limited term EMT is the best solution under the circumstances.

Three candidates were interviewed at the time Tim Swenson was hired for one of the 30-hour permanent EMT positions, and the other two have indicated they would be interested in the LTE position, Knutson said.

The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved a motion to hire a 30-hour per week EMT for the remainder of 2015.

“Then we can look at it for the 2016 budget,” Niggemann said.

Other business

In other business, the Colfax Village Board:

• Approved a contract in the amount of $640 with the Dunn County Highway Department to conduct pavement ratings for village streets and submit the information to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Wisconsin statutes require local governments to submit pavement surface evaluation and rating (PASER) information to WisDOT.

• Approved paying 40 percent of the sidewalk repair on the corner of Main Street and West Railroad Avenue. The special assessment policy of the village establishes that when sidewalks are replaced, the village pays 40 percent and the property owner pays 60 percent.

• Approved placing electronic versions of the village board’s agenda and agenda packet on the village’s website for the July 13 meeting. Village board members will be able to access the information during the meeting by electronic device, such as iPads or laptop computers, and members of the public also will have access to the information prior to the meeting. Several paper agendas and packets will still be available for the meeting, but the full packet will not be delivered to village board members prior to the meeting.

• Approved 53 bartender operator’s licenses for July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016.

• Approved alcohol licenses for J&S Sales of Chippewa Falls; Mike and Mark Nelson/Outhouse Bar; Kyle’s Market; Cedar Country Cooperative; Mom’s on Main; Buck Snort Bar & Grill; A Little Slice of Italy.

• Approved tobacco retailer licenses for J&S Sales of Chippewa Falls; Kyle’s Market; Mike and Mark Nelson/Outhouse Bar; Cedar Country Cooperative; Dollar General; Buck Snort Bar & Grill.

• Approved the renewal of a chicken license for Chris Edwards, 810 Oliver Lane.