More EMS questions
Despite the fact that the decision was asked to be delayed for at least a month until more people had a chance to hear of the proposed change, the vote on transferring Platteville EMS control to Southwest Health was brought up at the May 26 Common Council meeting. As one concerned citizen stated, if it’s a good idea tonight, it will still be a good idea in three weeks. That fact was overlooked as the council voted 5–2 to pass the motion.
This quick action was only two weeks after the transfer agreement was introduced to the public at the May 12 council meeting. This was also before the towns had a chance to poll their members and vote as to whether they would like to be a part of the agreement. The transfer can not officially be completed until the Town of Platteville also agrees to the terms.
At the May 26 meeting, I was criticized for saying that the possible transfer had not been known to the public long enough. Alds. Barb Daus and Eileen Nickels brought up that the transfer idea was discussed at the Aug. 26 council meeting, and had I and the rest of the citizens of Platteville attended that meeting we would all be “in the know” about the proposed transfer.
In checking the printed information presented at the Aug. 26 meeting by Brian Allen, City of Platteville EMS administrator, I discovered it was a list of pros and cons for the transfer. There was no information as to costs, etc. One “pro” that I found interesting was that if it was switched to the hospital from city control, there would be “no building/facility costs” for the city. Yet it appears that under the new contract the $130,000 to $150,000 to be paid to the hospital yearly by the city and townships will be used to build a new ambulance garage near the hospital.
Until the Southwest Health paramedic-based service is up and running (this may take two years), we are told the only changes we will notice is the volunteer EMS people will wear a shirt that says Southwest Health EMT, the two ambulances will be repainted with the new name, the hospital will have the use of $450,000 to $500,000 city-owned ambulances and equipment for $1, and they will pay the EMS staff and collect all the fees for ambulance calls at the current rate of $650 to $850 per call plus $1,000 to $1,200 for any transfers. The ambulances will also be housed in the city ambulance garage until the new building is completed at the hospital, estimated to be the end of 2016.
The speed with which this very important agenda item was pushed through left me wondering if there was some aspect of the agreement that would not survive a month of scrutiny if it had been delayed. The fact that at the end of the 20 years or even earlier if the contract is broken and the EMS service again becomes the city’s responsibility, the city will have paid for an ambulance garage that they do not own. Another factor of concern is that the city and townships will have no control or final say over the EMS program at the hospital. The editor of The Platteville Journal stated it clearly when he said in the Sept. 3 Etc. column that “There is also something to be said about having the taxpayers in charge of EMS when the taxpayers will be paying for it one way or another.”
A final concern is that our new city manager will arrive July 1. Since this will be a large budget item for her to plan for wouldn’t it be advantageous to have her insight before it was signed?
Appreciation for Wolf
I would like to publicly express my appreciation to Larry Wolf for his respectful service to Grant County and its Board of Supervisors for the past 10 years. Larry was very instrumental in assisting the development of the county’s Information Technology Department together with other progressive projects.
In my opinion, I wish some of the other County Board members would have shown him more consideration when he served as County Board chairperson.
Grant County Board Supervisor, District 7
I was one of the officials that officiated the Platteville vs. Prairie du Chien soccer match Thursday in Prairie du Chien. I am not very eloquent with words, but I really wanted to acknowledge probably the best piece of sportsmanship I have ever personally witnessed in my time as a player, coach or official. As you may or may not know, Prairie du Chien lost a student over the weekend who was close with many of the girls on the Prairie soccer team. The game was moved later to allow for the players to attend the funeral.
During the pre-game handshake, each of the Platteville players carried a full-stem flower and gave it to one of their opponents, including the coach, and expressed condolences and kind words. It was a such a small but absolutely incredible gesture from your team to the Prairie players. Coach Hardyman and the Platteville players really represented your school district in a touching and caring way that I will certainly remember for years to come, as I’m sure the Prairie players will as well.
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