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City approves EMS transfer agreement

City officials formally approved an agreement with Breathitt-Wolfe EMS Inc. to be a second responder for transfers from Clark Regional Medical Center.
Under the agreement, Winchester Fire-EMS will still get the first call for medical transfers from this hospital, Winchester Fire-EMS Chief Cathy Rigney said Tuesday. If their ambulances are all busy, Rigney said they would ask the hospital to call Breathitt-Wolfe next.
The agreement is in response to a discussion that evolved in the last year between EMS staff shortages at Winchester Fire-EMS and difficulty the hospital had finding an ambulance to take a transfer run. Hospital officials said previously there were incidents where it took an hour calling ambulance services in surrounding counties to take a transfer run.
Greg Gullett of Breathitt-Wolfe said the plan was to leave an ambulance in Winchester specifically for those transfers. If the arrangement becomes permanent, he said they may look for property to build a station in Clark County.
“We’re just here to help out the hospital and help (Rigney),” Gullett said.
“We’re OK with it,” Rigney said. “We appreciate the help.”
According to the agreement, Breathitt-Wolfe would not respond to emergency calls in Clark County, but could be asked to help with emergency calls in “extreme circumstances.”
There are no financial terms in the agreement, and either side can choose to end the agreement.
So far this year, there have been 995 transfers from CRMC, City Commissioner JoEllen Reed said. Of those, Winchester took 472 and other agencies took the other 523.
“The need is there, and I think this is a wonderful way to provide relief,” Reed said.
The agreement was approved unanimously.
In other action, the commission:
— held a public hearing concerning municipal road aid funds and Local Government Economic Assistance funds.
— approved a request for police to assist with the Together for Justice March on June 19.
— approved an agreement to handle the finances for Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation. The agreement does not alter the board or other operations of the department. Parks and Recreation is presently paying an outside company to handle its financial matters.
— voted to seek proposals for a medical director for Winchester Fire-EMS.
— approved the first readings of ordinances to amend the administrative hearing board ordinance to allow the board to handle matters involving the transient room tax, occupational license fees and code enforcement.
— approved the second readings of the fiscal year 2021 budget and a budget amendment for fiscal year 2020.
— awarded a non-exclusive natural gas franchise to Columbia Gas.
— accepted the resignation of Todd Denham from the Main Street Winchester board.
— reappointed Leanna Comer to the Winchester-Clark County Recreational, Tourist and Convention Commission for a three-year term.
— approved an agreement with tow truck operators in Winchester.
— approved an agreement with City Attorney Bill Dykeman.
— approved an agreement with Dr. Anita Rogers to serve as medical director for Winchester Fire-EMS.
— transferred a Ford Crown Victoria from the Winchester Police Department to the city manager’s department.
— approved an agreement with Datamax Corporation to identify and recoup uncollected taxes.
— approved a lease with Custom Solutions Inc. for software and hardware to be used in preparation of property tax bills.
— accepted Codella Drive Extension and Wildcat Way as city streets.
— reclassified Christopher Hall, Matthew Moses, Zachary Sego and Kellen Walker from Firefighter II/EMT to firefighter III/EMT.
— reclassified Blake Gabbard and Trevor Bloom from police officer II to police officer I.

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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