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By LeAnn R. Ralph
BOYCEVILLE — The Boyceville Community Ambulance District Board has approved purchasing a Stryker Power Pro 2 cot at a cost of nearly $30,000.
Unassisted, the Stryker Power Pro 2 cot will lift 700 pounds, while the cot currently in use by the Boyceville ambulance service needs help at 300 pounds, said Wayne Dow, director of the ambulance service, at the Boyceville ambulance district board’s November 9 meeting.
The cost of Stryker Power Pro 2 cot is $29,750.40 with a trade-in value of $2,500 on the 2006 cot the ambulance service is using now, he said.
Dow said he has been considering how to use grant money to pay for the new cot that will go into the new ambulance.
As the result of a recent telephone call, Dow said he was reminded that Boyceville still had $14,153 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money that had not yet been spent.
Through the state’s Funding Assistance Program, Boyceville received $24,390 to use for equipment as well as another one-time grant of $3,803.
After the purchase of the Stryker Power Pro 2 cot, the Boyceville ambulance service will have $15,906.31 in remaining grant money that must be spent by the end of next year, Dow said.
The Boyceville Community Ambulance District Board unanimously approved the purchase of the power cot.
The Boyceville ambulance district includes the Village of Boyceville and the Towns of Hay River, New Haven, Sheridan, Sherman, Stanton and Tiffany.
Dow reported that so far this year, the Boyceville ambulance service has gone out on 227 runs.
Since the ambulance district board’s last meeting, Boyceville has gone out on 14 runs that included two calls for mutual aid to Colfax and to Dallas, eight transports by Boyceville, three runs that were cancelled enroute, one call that refused transport and two fire standbys of which one was cancelled.
One person was on duty at the ambulance station 25.3 percent of the time, and two people were on duty 74.7 percent of the time, he said.
The Boyceville ambulance service was “out of service” for an hour and a half the previous week due to a doctor’s appointment, Dow said.
The roster now has 17, and Boyceville has gained one EMR, he said.
The ambulance service can transport a patient if there is one EMR and one Advanced EMT to go out on the run.
The Boyceville service now has two EMRs, along with 10 EMTs and five Advanced EMTs. Six of those on the roster are inactive. Five of the inactive are because they are away at school, and one is a farmer who is in the busy season now with the harvest, Dow said.
Three additional EMRs and two EMTs are waiting to take tests for their certification. One person is currently taking EMT classes, and two people are interested in starting classes this next semester, Dow said.
As of November 1, the Boyceville ambulance service has transitioned to an EMT/Flex-Advanced EMT service, he said.
Being an EMT/Flex-Advanced EMT service means that if two Basic EMTs are on duty, they can take the ambulance out on a call and transport the patient, although they would not be able to start an IV or administer certain medications for pain.
A motion to downgrade the Boyceville ambulance service from Advanced EMT to EMT/Flex-Advanced EMT was approved on a vote of four “yes” to two “no” at the ambulance district board’s June 15 meeting.
Representatives for the Towns of Tiffany, Sherman, Stanton and Sheridan voted “yes” on the motion.
The Town of Hay River and the Village of Boyceville voted “no” on the motion.
The Town of New Haven did not have a representative at the June 15 meeting.
The state of Wisconsin did not approve the downgrade to a flex ambulance service until receiving a memorandum of understanding from the two municipalities that voted “no” on downgrading to a flex service.
The Boyceville ambulance service has subscribed to the Lexipol service for policies and procedures at a cost of $2,100 per year.
Lexipol is a robust policy system that offers policies for EMS and fire departments, Dow said.
The cost of the service is reimbursable through the League of Wisconsin Municipalities’ insurance, he said.
The policies available cover a wide range of topics for employees and operations, and Boyceville can select which policies to use, depending upon the usefulness of the policy, he said.
The Boyceville Police Department also uses Lexipol, and as an example of selecting policies, does not subscribe to the K-9 policy since Boyceville does not have a police dog, Dow said.
There are many potential categories to choose from, he noted.
School districts in the area use a similar policy service called Neola.
Neola notifies the school districts when there are policy updates, such as changes in state statutes, or updates based upon the advice of attorneys.
The Boyceville Ambulance Association will be sponsoring a pancake breakfast and silent auction on December 3 from 8 a.m. until noon, Dow reported.
The pancake breakfast will provide money for the ambulance association’s scholarship fund, he said.
Boyceville ambulance also will be taking part in the annual Spirit of Christmas celebration on December 10 with a chili feed from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Money earned from the chili will be used to fund next year’s chili feed, Dow said.
Dow said he had talked with the regional ambulance director the day of the ambulance board meeting.
The regional director had told Dow that COVID-19 was still prevalent and “don’t let your guard down.”
One representative on the ambulance district board said he was just coming off a 10-day quarantine due to COVID-19.
The Boyceville Community Ambulance District Board has approved meeting quarterly.
The ambulance district’s by-laws state that the board must meet at least quarterly and specifies January, April, July and October, said Peter Score, representative for the Town of Sheridan and chair of the ambulance district board.
Since Dow started as director of the ambulance district board in April of 2021, the board has been meeting monthly to help the ambulance district and the community work through the transition.
Several representatives on the ambulance district board said they would prefer to still meet monthly because of the financial reports.
Score pointed out that the financial reports could be e-mailed on a monthly basis.
Chuck Siler, representative for the Town of Tiffany, said it would be useful to have a meeting in September to get a preliminary budget so the towns and the village of Boyceville can use the ambulance district budget numbers to help write their own budgets, which have to be approved in November.
A special meeting could be added in September or a preliminary budget could be e-mailed, Score said.
The ambulance district board can call a special meeting at any time, said Ned Hahn, representative for the Town of Hay River.
Score suggested the ambulance district board could switch to the quarterly meeting schedule and hold the next meeting in January.
The board would then meet next in April, which will give board members several months to receive the financial statements by e-mail, he said.
By the April meeting, board members will have an idea of whether they want to continue meeting quarterly or whether they want to meet more often, Score said.
According to the by-laws, representatives from three different municipalities must contact the chair of the ambulance district board to schedule a special meeting.
The Boyceville Community Ambulance District Board unanimously approved meeting quarterly with the next meeting scheduled in January.
Dow said he will e-mail out his monthly reports during the first week of each month.
The Boyceville Community Ambulance District Board meets next on January 4.
Dow also reported that the Request for Proposals for the new ambulance is written and is 38 pages long.
The RFPs were going to be sent out the week of the ambulance district meeting so vendors would have to time to reply before the ambulance district board’s next meeting, he said.