Ambulance Task Force representative presents findings to County

 


Kimball County Commissioners Board and Kimball County Ambulance Task Force look into possible interfaculty services to better serve Kimball County.

Members of the Kimball County Ambulance Task Force presented their findings on September 6 to the Board of Commissioners during their regular meeting.

Randy Meininger, Manager of Regional West Emergency Management Service represented the Task Force and detailed their findings to the board.

Although both ambulances have both UHF capable of contacting area hospitals, ambulances and helicopters, and VHF to contact the Kimball County 911 center, they do not have the ability to contact Banner or Scotts Bluff Counties and will lose the ability to contact Cheyenne County in the near future. The ambulances will need some type of new radio or equipment change in the future to remain effective. They will also need to discuss the need of someone to speak multiple languages to meet the new ADA requirements.

The Kimball Ambulance service meets the requirements as a Basic Life Support (BLS) Service on every run and is also licensed as an Advanced Life Support (ALS) Service under the direction of David Cornutt, MD but they can only provide ALS services when he is available, therefore they can only meet 75% of all transport requests at this time.

Currently, Kimball’s ambulances are able to be on the scene of a 911 call within the city limits in less than ten minutes but would like to get that time down to five minutes. Out of town 911 calls are being answered within 20 minutes currently although they would like to see that time cut to 15 minutes.

The Task Force recommends that there be two ambulances, one remaining in the county at all times while the other is available for inter-facility transfers. With the recent purchase of the 2016 ambulance, this recommendation is being fulfilled, however, it was recommended that a capital improvement plant be implemented to start looking at replacing the older ambulance.

The Task Force’s desire is to have both BLS and ALS staffing around the clock, however, there just are not enough ALS and BLS providers in the area to meet the demand all of the time.

The financial concerns of the Task Force is to find a sustainable partnership to maintain quality services to area residents. Although the ambulance service is owned and operated by Kimball County and governed by the Board of Commissioners, with the current trend towards increased costs and decreased tax revenues, the tax base may not be able to sustain the current service. Data provided by the Kimball Ambulance Service suggests that a maximum potential patient net revenue is only $202,000 per year.


The Task Force recommended six potential models with only one choice truly benefitting the community. The “hybrid” model indicates that Kimball residents would most benefit from a partnership of the Ambulance Service, Kimball County Health Services and Regional West Medical Services so as to provide a long term sustainable service for the community.

The Kimball County Board of Commissioners authorized the Task Force to create a more detailed “hybrid” model and to adjust it to fit Kimball as well as possible before bringing it back to the Board.

 

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