By Dakota Kuhns
The Observer 

Merged Ambulance Service Saving Kimball Some Cash


January 24, 2019

Since Kimball ambulance service paired with Regional West’s ambulance service, Kimball County has saved money.

Ken Hunter, Kimball Health Services CEO, and Chief Nursing Officer Cheryl Delaplane met with the county commissioners at their regular meeting Jan. 15 to discuss overall improvements regarding ambulance service.

According to Commissioner Timothy Nolting, Kimball County was paying out nearly $175,000 in administration costs. However, since the merger, the county is paying only $40,000 and housing the emergency vehicles.

“Having a paramedic on call for the ambulance at all times (unless there’s more than one call at once) has increased the care we are able to provide,” said Delaplane. “With a paramedic on the call, they are able to start an IV for pain medicine or such before the patient is taken to the hospital.

“It may seem like this takes more time then it would to take the patient to the hospital, but in reality for the paramedic to be able to start administrating medicine before the ride is beneficial to the patients.”

At this time, the hospital is looking to employ EMTs in hospital jobs so there’s the convenience to leave for ambulance calls when needed.

Also on the agenda were Karen DeBoer, UNL Extension Educator, to expand on the vacancies in the Panhandle with Cynthia Gill, former a Extension educator.

According to DeBoer, the Extension Educator coverage areas have been reorganized and balanced.

Area 1 includes Cherry, Blaine, Thomas, Hooker and Grant counties with one educator and one assistant.

Area 2 includes Sioux, Dawes, Sheridan and Box Butte counties with one educator and four assistants.

Area 3 includes Morrill and Garden counties with one educator and one assistant.

Area 4 is Cheyenne and Deuel counties with one educator.

Area 5 is Scottsbluff, Kimball and Banner counties with one educator and three assistants.

According to UNL Extension, the changes are in order to reach effective use of time and money.

The question about both fairs, Scottsbluff and Kimball/Banner, being at the same time did arise. However, DeBoer did not seem to think the date would need to be changed.


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