Archive for Thursday, July 15, 2010

Officials: Baldwin City ambulance staff won’t be cut

A day after news got out about the Lawrence City Commission doing away with ambulance service to Baldwin City, that decision was reversed. County officials pointed out that would violate a 1996 agreement and now the old familiar No. 11 ambulance will remain in Baldwin City.

A day after news got out about the Lawrence City Commission doing away with ambulance service to Baldwin City, that decision was reversed. County officials pointed out that would violate a 1996 agreement and now the old familiar No. 11 ambulance will remain in Baldwin City.

July 15, 2010

Turns out an ambulance will remain based out of Baldwin City next year after all, now that officials in Lawrence have dropped plans to recall an employee position from a station near the high school.

“There will not be a change in the staffing,” said Chief Mark Bradford, of Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical.

The decision — reached by city officials Wednesday at the insistence of Douglas County Commissioner Jim Flory and County Administrator Craig Weinaug — came a day after commissioners first heard that the city planned on saving $65,000 in personnel costs next year by recalling an emergency medical technician from the Baldwin City-based ambulance, a vehicle whose crew focuses on calls in the southern third of the county.

Without the EMT in place, the ambulance no longer would have complied with state licensing guidelines. That prompted Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical to plan on replacing the ambulance in Baldwin City with a so-called first-responder vehicle, likely an SUV.

The SUV still would have been driven by a paramedic and still would have included all the necessary medical equipment and materials for treating and stabilizing people who would need help, Bradford said. The SUV, however, would not have been able to transport anyone to a hospital.

Flory and Weinaug opposed the move, asserting that it would violate the terms of a 1996 agreement that merged the Lawrence Fire Department with the Douglas County Ambulance Service. That agreement requires the combined department to maintain an ambulance based in Baldwin City, staffed by one paramedic.

City Manager David Corliss, as he was compiling the Lawrence’s draft budget for 2011, had understood that having two employees on the ambulance added expenses beyond those required by the agreement.

Now that it’s clear an ambulance cannot operate without two qualified employees, the ambulance will remain based in Baldwin City for 2011.

“I do not apologize for looking for ways to cut the budget,” Corliss said.

Personnel costs for Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical are shared by the two governments: Lawrence pays 74.36 percent of costs, while the county picks up the remaining 25.64 percent.

Comments

TheOnlyGreyghost 4 years ago

Corliss is a soulless pig. Glad that more sensible heads prevailed.

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Stacy Napier 4 years ago

Wow the Ghost and I agree on something. If you only knew the half of Coreless ways.

Glad we have two strong voices on the Commission that won't lay down for Lawrence. Thanks Flory and Weinaug.

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beevo 4 years ago

Lawrence's City Manager David Corliss has made a very large mistake. His actions to scuttle the Baldwin City-based ambulance was not a smart move. He might be book smart but he seems to lack good old common sense. He should also do his homework so he won't make errors in state licensing guidelines and violate legal agreement's that affect thousands of tax payers! His comment “I do not apologize for looking for ways to cut the budget,” is both callus and cold! We the people of Southern Douglas County thank Douglas County Commissioner Jim Flory and County Administrator Craig Weinaug for correcting Mr Corliss's grievous errors.

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TheOnlyGreyghost 4 years ago

Well said, beevo!

@ notwhatyouthink: ;-)

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Torch 4 years ago

I think he was trying to do the right thing and should cut wherever he can, including idle resources like the ambulance crew in Baldwin.

Just like we should cut some of the idle employees in the school district.

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sawman 4 years ago

Cutting emergency services is about as short-sighted a mind set as there is Torch. The crew here wasn't close enough to save a friend out in the country. The entire town would be in the same jeopardy if our help had to come from Lawrence. Crimony.

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TheOnlyGreyghost 4 years ago

Torch~ Start naming names. Which school employees are idle? Please supply details--what they are doing when they should be working, etc. Then they will have the opportunity to respond. Their supervisors and underlings can also weigh in.

If it turns out you're right, they'll get canned--or they will see the error of their ways and resign. Either way, the citizens of Baldwin will owe you a debt of gratitude for bringing this waste to light.

Or..... our opinion of you as a blowhard will be confirmed.

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