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Commissioners Agree to Upgrade West End Ambulance License

A long sought after upgrade to the ambulance license for Arkansas Valley Ambulance (AVA), which operates in western Fremont County, was approved by the Fremont County Board of Commissioners at their September 24th meeting.   AVA applied for Advanced Life Support (ALS) certification so qualified EMT’s could issue prescription drugs in the ambulance but the request was twice tabled by the Commissioners over issues raised during ambulance inspections.    The most recent one month delay in August dealt with a complaint that AVA Operations Director Jay DeMay had issued a patient a painkiller without licensed authorization.

With a new medical advisor coming on board for AVA the Commissioners also said last month that they wanted a written recommendation from the new medical advisor before approving the ALS upgrade.   The Board was told on Tuesday that the State Health Department’s EMT Division had reviewed the complaint against DeMay but had taken no action.   The Commissioners also had a letter in hand from Dr. Paul Numsen stating he felt confident in recommending that AVA be upgraded to ALS.  Numsen said being a staff physician at the St. Thomas More Hospital Emergency Room allows him direct observation and monitoring of ambulance activities.

In offering the motion to approve the ALS licensing,  District 3 Commissioner Ed Norden made it clear that it is the expectation of the Commissioners that if AVA is not staffed with an Intermediate EMT that the ambulance will only run with Basic Life Support Service.   DeMay told the Commissioners that AVA has two active Intermediate EMT’s who can fulfill the requirement and that AVA expects to run 80 percent of its calls with ALS providers.

Following a hearing the Board of Commissioners approved the issuance of a new hotel and restaurant liquor license to Penrose Family Enterprises.   Michelle Phillips and her father Rob Mangone plan to open Broadway’s Bar and Grill at 103 Broadway in Penrose.   The location is the same site where the Board of Commissioners voted to deny a liquor license renewal earlier this year for Marv’s Place after the owners were unable to provide documentation that they had an active lease for the property.   Phillips said they are aware of the problems that occurred in the past at that location and have every intention of running a family oriented establishment that focuses on food service instead of just alcohol.

The Commissioners again listened to complaints from persons concerned about complaints of animal abuse lodged against the managers at the Fremont Humane Society.  County Commission Chair Debbie Bell reminded Dawn Haywood, Julie Reiter Phillips, and Elaine Million that the Board of Commissioners has no authority or control of the Humane Society operation and that Sheriff Jim Beicker has indicated he is investigating.   Haywood said she recognizes the Commissioners have no control but that the Board has influence and the ability to call people to look into the operations.   Asked by Chairman Bell if she has taken her complaints to the Humane Society Board of Directors, Elaine Million said she has tried to contact Humane Society board members but they are unresponsive.

Commissioner Ed Norden said he did not know whether Sheriff Beicker would withhold the fourth quarter Sheriff’s Department payment to the Humane Society.   But Norden added that the fact the Sheriff is conducting an investigation complicates matters for the Commissioners in being asked to get directly involved in reviewing any allegations.

In other business at the September 24th meeting the Commissioners:

  • Reappointed Leonard Mino and Tom Schilf to three year terms on the Fremont County Airport Advisory Committee;
  • Adopted a resolution amending the county’s personnel policy regarding Violence and Firearms in the workplace.   Commissioner Debbie Bell noted that the policy prohibits county employees from carrying or possessing a firearm in the workplace regardless of whether they have a concealed carry permit.   She said only those employees whose job descriptions specifically allow for carrying of a firearm in the course of their duties are exempted from the restrictions but must still follow strict training and firearms certification;
  • Approved a $900 refund to Arkansas Valley Ambulance for their Special Review Use Permit application fee for their new ambulance headquarters near Texas Creek;
  • Approved and adopted on second reading an ordinance prohibiting the operation of retail-recreational marijuana facilities in Fremont County.