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Boyceville ambulance district board considering roster policy

By LeAnn R. Ralph

BOYCEVILLE  — The Boyceville Community Ambulance District Board is considering a policy pertaining to the service’s roster of Emergency Medical Technicians.

Wayne Dow, director of the Boyceville ambulance service, distributed a draft of the proposed roster policy to the ambulance district board at the January 12 meeting.

The policy includes a job description and states that EMTs must attend half of the business meetings and training meetings, he said.

The proposed policy also states that to remain on the roster, EMTs must work 24 hours per month, with exceptions allowed under the chief’s discretion, such as for those EMTs who are now away at college, Dow said.

Having a requirement that EMTs work 24 hours each month is consistent with other ambulance services in the area, he said.

New hires, for whom the district will cover the cost of EMT training as long as they work for Boyceville for two years, are required to work 48 hours each month, he noted.

Chuck Siler, representative for the Town of Tiffany, said that people’s work schedules might not always allow them to attend the business meetings and the training meetings.

Dow said he could add the provision of “at the chief’s discretion” for that part of the policy dealing with business meetings and training meetings.

The Boyceville Community Ambulance District Board is planning to consider the proposed policy as an action item on the agenda for the February meeting.

The ambulance district board meets next on February 9 at 7 p.m. at the Boyceville Village Hall on Charlotte Street.

The ambulance district board has been meeting monthly at the ambulance station in Boyceville, but representatives for the Boyceville Village Board said the village board has approved allowing the ambulance board to use the village hall for monthly meetings.

Roster

Dow reported that the Boyceville ambulance service currently has nine EMTs on the roster.

One newly-certified Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) will be starting work shortly and will be able to drive the ambulance, he said.

Five people have signed up for the next EMR/EMT class that starts at the end of the month, and there is a possibility that a sixth person may sign up for training, Dow said.

The EMR/EMT classes run from the end of January until May, he said.

Being certified as an EMR is an earlier part of the class, and once someone is certified as an EMR, he or she can go out on ambulance runs with an Advanced EMT, Dow said.

On scene time

In 2021, the Boyceville ambulance service received 212 calls, Dow said.

Dow distributed information to the ambulance service board about the response times and the average time on scene.

The amount of time spent on scene has gone down, but in some cases, the response time has “gone up a hair,” he said.

According to the information Dow gave to the ambulance board, the average time on scene for the Boyceville Community Ambulance Service was 30 minutes and 58 seconds in 2020.

The average scene time decreased to 23 minutes in 2021, and the average scene time after Dow took over as the director on April 15, 2021, decreased to 17  minutes and 10 seconds.

The average on scene time for ambulance services with which Boyceville has a coverage agreement when Boyceville cannot transport a patient is 24 minutes and 15 seconds.

The amount of on-scene time is important, because the longer the ambulance remains on scene, the longer it takes to get the patient to a medical facility.

Response time

According to the information Dow provided to the board, the Boyceville ambulance service’s average response time in 2020 was 11 minutes and five seconds.

The average response time in 2021 was 11 minutes and 11 seconds.

The average response time after Dow took over as ambulance service director on April 15, 2021, is 11 minutes and 46 seconds.

Response times can vary, depending on where in the municipality the ambulance must travel to reach the patient.

The average response time for Boyceville is about five minutes.

In 2020, the average response time for Boyceville was 5 minutes and 28 seconds. The average time in 2021 was five minutes and 55 seconds, and after April 15, the average response time was 5 minutes and 53 seconds.

The average response time to the Town of Hay River was 12 minutes and 23 seconds in 2020 and was 14 minutes and 11 seconds in 2021. After April 15, the average response time was 14 minutes and 39 seconds.

The average response time for the Town of New Haven was 20 minutes and two seconds in 2020 and was 19 minutes and 27 seconds in 2021. After April 15, the average response time was 20 minutes and 16 seconds.

The average response time for the Town of Sheridan was 29 minutes in 2020 and was 18 minutes and 29 seconds in 2021. After April 15, the average response time was also 18 minutes and 29 seconds.

The average response time for the Town of Sherman was 17 minutes and 18 seconds in 2020 and was 15 minutes and 29 seconds in 2021. After April 15, the average response time was 15 minutes and 14 seconds.

The average response time in the Town of Stanton was 12 minutes and seven seconds in 2020 and was 14 minutes and 52 seconds in 2021. After April 15, the average response time was 14 minutes and 32 seconds.

The average response time in the Town of Tiffany was 14 minutes and 48 seconds in 2020 and was 11 minutes and 37 seconds in 2021. After April 15, the average response time was 11 minutes and two seconds.

Take over

Dow said he has started contacting other ambulance services to take over the Boyceville ambulance service, including Menomonie and the Mayo Health System.

“They say they don’t want it and that they would have to hire eight people (to take over Boyceville),” he said.

If the ambulance district board wanted to hire a private service to provide ambulance service, the cost would be $3,000 per day, Dow said.

Dow also has been talking to Colfax about merging the two services and is “in the exploratory stage.”

The two services would have shared resources and “cross credentialing” of personnel, he said.

Dow has talked to state of Wisconsin officials, and the state is encouraging shared resources and cross credentialing.

Luke Montgomery, Boyceville village president and representative for the Village of Boyceville, noted he had read an article in the League of Wisconsin Municipalities magazine that some ambulance services in rural areas have gone to hiring one full-time EMT and volunteers are picking up the rest of the time.

That could work for either merged or separate services, Dow said.

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