October sets record for EMS calls, says director

In her monthly report to the county commission JoAnn Knak, Emergency Medical Services director, reported that October was a “record month” with 93 calls.

“I went all the way back to ’89 and couldn’t find a month with more calls,” she said.

Of the 93 calls, 32 were to Peabody-which had several fires during the month-29 to Hillsboro, 23 to Marion, and nine to Tampa.

Knak also reported sending Deane Olsen, of the EMS office, to El Dorado to attend a Medicare meeting. Olsen reported that Medicare is proposing implementation of flat rates for various services as opposed to itemization.

“We don’t know what that is going to do to us yet,” said Knak. “I think we will be OK, but it is too early to tell.”

Knak will be holding a hazardous materials awareness class for EMT students, fire departments and school bus drivers Thursday, Nov. 16, and Tuesday, Nov 21. She emphasized the need for firefighters to attend the class, noting the Kansas Firefighters Organization will cover any expenses incurred by a hazardous material injury if the firefighter has taken the required class. If he has not, they are not obligated to pay for the injuries.

In other business:

— County commissioners will not meet again until Monday, Nov. 27. Commissioners Robert Hein and Linda Peterson will be attending the Kansas County Association Conference held in Topeka Sunday through Tuesday of next week.

— The county Christmas party will be 7:30, Dec. 11, at Tabor College.

— David Brazil, county sanitarian, and Eileen Sieger, chair of the county planning and zoning committee, brought the minutes and resolution of the committee before the commission.

The resolution was composed by the committee reaffirming the members’ decision to deny George Gore’s request for a land use permit for a four-wheel-drive mud run.

“We wanted something a little stronger than what would be in the meeting records,” Sieger said.

Peterson said the commission would review the resolution and take action at their next meeting.

Jeannine Bateman, county treasurer, asked commissioners to approve plan for taxpayers to pay personal property taxes with credit cards.

Bateman said three or four people each month would asked her if the county had a credit card payment plan.

“I am for anything that will help the taxpayers,” Bateman said.

“This will save them a trip,” said Commissioner Jack Bruner.

Bateman reported that several counties were already using a credit card payment plan.

“If it doesn’t cost the county anything, I can’t see anything wrong with it,” Hein said.

Bateman reassured the commissioners the money was guaranteed, and the county will receive the money 36 to 48 hours after payment.

The board advised Bateman to continue with her plans.

The State of Kansas is requiring sheriffs from all over the state to attend a 2000 Sheriff’s Orientation Course. Lee Becker, Marion County Sheriff, will be attending the course later in the year.

Michele Abbott-Becker, communications director for Marion County Sheriff’s Department, reported a necessary Southwestern Bell computer upgrade for the 911 system required an updated computer for the dispatch office.

“The upgrades we receive from Southwestern Bell are free from 1997 through 2002, but our computer does not meet the minimum requirements for the next upgrade.”

One requirement for the new computer is 667 megahertz, necessary for proper speed of information processing.

Becker submitted necessary specifications to four businesses and received bids from: Advanced in Lawrence (with 667 mhz) $2,998; Gateway from a state contract (with 800 mhz) $3,798; Compaq (with 866 mhz) $3,574; Great Plains, Marion (with 733 mhz) $3,498.

The commission voted to accept the Great Plains bid. Funds for the project will be taken from the 911 funds.

Becker also asked the commission for its input regarding a request from Dickinson County for partial payment of fuel taken to a fire last Oct. 12.

The fire was a multi-jurisdictional fire using 17 different emergency agencies.

Dickinson County asked for fuel, and Cardie’s Oil sent out a tank. Upon investigation, Becker learned poor records were kept at the time,

“We aren’t completely sure who got what, which is something we will work on,” she said. “But there was a lot going on.”

Gas was dispersed to several units from Marion, Dickinson and Gypsum counties totaling about $500.

Dickinson County had contacted Becker requesting Marion County split the money, but Becker wanted to suggest a three-way split with Gypsum since they also used gas.

The commission supported Becker’s recommendation.

Transport fuel bids were brought by Gerald Kelsey, county road and bridge supervisor, along with Gary Loveless, foreman. The commission voted to accept the bid of $9,370.95 from Cooperative Grain and Supply. The bid was $9,431.95 from Cardie’s Oil.

After looking over bids and comparing units, the commission also voted to purchase a clean burner oil heater for the county shop.

“The old one isn’t working this morning,” Kelsey said.

The new unit, which will cost $4,600, will provide 280,000 BTU of heat. It was to be delivered this week.

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