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Committee seeking proposals for EMS transfer service

City and county officials decided to request proposals for taking over ambulance transfer calls for Winchester Fire-EMS.

Monday evening, the joint city-county committee discussing EMS operations approved a document to request proposals from interested parties.

The committee was formed nearly a year ago to discuss operations for EMS services, which is funded by the city and county. The department has struggled to meet the demand for transfers from Clark Regional Medical Center to other facilities in the past, and the committee members have been exploring other possibilities.

The committee voted unanimously Monday to request the proposals.

Clark County Magistrate Chris Davis, who sits on the committee, said he wants to see Winchester Fire-EMS focus on emergency and 911 calls.

“As far as inter-institutional transfers, I’d like to entertain what’s presented to us,” he said.

Winchester Fire-EMS Lt. Jacob Allen said the issue had traditionally been for transfers requiring advanced life support services, which requires a paramedic. Basic life support, or BLS, transfers have not been a problem, he said.

Winchester Fire-EMS Chief Cathy Rigney said she had discussed a temporary agreement with Breathitt-Wolfe EMS to handle CRMC’s transfers. The agreement, as read by Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner, would be for 90 days and Breathitt-Wolfe would be called first by CRMC for non-emergency transfers.

The committee, though, did not vote on that agreement.

Allen said the number of transfers has dropped in recent weeks, but said it typically increases in the spring.

“We seem to be doing OK right now with transfers,” Rigney said. “That doesn’t mean things won’t pick back up.”

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0051.

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