In Nov. 18 IssueBy Kim GrahamTimes Journal Reporter
In an effort to temporarily shore up finances at Russell County EMS, the Russell County Ambulance Board voted unanimously to renew and restructure a $150,000 loan at First National Bank.
"The previous board had went to the First National Bank and had a loan for $150,000," said Board Chairman James Gray. "We want to renew that loan and restructure it to try to help us out financially and try to make it a little easier on the ambulance service."
Gray said the bank is willing to renew and restructure a low interest loan with a payment due every six months.
"Hopefully after the first of the year we'll be in decent shape financially," said Gray.
EMS Director, Terry Hancock presented a Social Networking Policy to the board for approval.
"This is a policy that says it is essential that the board and its agency recognize the proper function of any public safety agency relies upon public confidence and trust," said Hancock. "This policy is put in place not only to protect the agency but also the employees."
In the policy, employees of the Russell County Ambulance Service are prohibited from posting, transmitting, or disseminating any photographs, video images, audio files, text documents, or any material that specifically identifies the Russell County EMS in a negative manner or any material or medium that portrays anything pertaining to runs on any personal website or any social networking website including MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube without the prior consent of the director.
"We'll have something in place in case someone takes a picture of a wreck or scene with something that identifies a patient," said Hancock. "It also says you can't get on (a social networking site) and ridicule or criticize somebody or talk about patients."
Hancock recommended the board accept the policy and include it as part of the handbook under general policies.
The policy was unanimously accepted.
County Attorney Elect, Kevin Shearer will represent the Ambulance Service Board when his term begins in January.
"I'm happy to be here," said Shearer. "I look forward to working with everybody. I hope that you find my staff and office will be very courteous and hospitable and anything you need we'll do our best to get it for you."
The board went into executive session per KRS 61.810(1)f to discuss personnel matters. No action was taken.
In other business:
• Hancock said auditors are still running behind and did not meet the October 22nd deadline to complete the EMS audit. He said no specific completion date was given but they should have the audit report by the December board meeting.
• Hancock reported that the LINK Board has met twice. The first meeting established organizational structure and named Tony Wright as chairman and Joe Michael Irvin as vice chairman. At the second meeting, the board attempted to determine whether the county or the LINK Board has management control over 911 dispatch service.
• EMS Handbook updates were tabled until next month pending further review by the board.
• Providing an accredited Paramedic training class at Russell County EMS was discussed by the board. Staff was instructed to check further into details and report findings.
• A full-time EMT resigned leaving a vacancy the board decided not to fill. The board chose to use part-time EMT's to cover the vacancy.
• The board discussed implementation of a standardized pay scale based on years of service and training.
• No new filings in the lawsuit filed by James S. Faller II and Amy Mischler.