By Diane Stamm
The Wauneta Breeze
After receiving complaints and questions about ambulance transfers from the Chase County Community Hospital, Chase County Commissioners Chuck Vette and Don Weiss, Jr., met with Deb Hayes and Dr. Jonathan Richman to discuss the service.
Hayes said she had talked to Commissioner Jodi Thompson, who was absent from the Nov. 25 meeting, on concerns raised to Thompson about the number of patients either flown out of the hospital or transferred using Midwest Medical Transport Company of North Platte.
At this time, Hayes said, the hospital’s nurses don’t want to go on the transfers, an assessment with which Richman agreed. He added that pay is not part of the reason nurses aren’t interested.
The group also discussed having interested EMTs become paramedics. Hayes said she had talked to several EMTs about getting the training, but that finding the time has been an issue. Using paramedics would allow the hospital to have an Advanced Life Support license.
Spring bridge repairs
Mike Rowe from Husker Steel Inc. updated Vette and Weiss on bridge construction possibilities for two county bridges.
Rowe recommended the bridge over the Frenchman River south of Imperial on Avenue 331 be given a new deck. The bridge currently has an iron plate covering a hole that developed earlier this fall. While Rowe said the hole could be patched, he said a new deck should make the bridge good for another 50 years. Repairs will close the bridge for 30 days.
Another bridge, located on 344 Avenue two miles west of Wauneta, needs to be replaced. Numerous trees will need to be removed from the area and Rowe suggested a minimum bridge width of 20 feet. Replacement of the bridge will not take place until at least the fall of 2015 and possibly later.
Christina Berry and Crystal Vette of Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska requested the commissioners’ approval in accessing Chase County’s portion of the community aid funding for the diversion program.
Based on the population of 12-18 year olds in the 2010 census, Chase County is allocated $9,570. The program will not cost the county anything and both Vette and Weiss approved the request.
Berry and Vette are based out of McCook and their office has accepted individuals referred by County Attorney Arlan Wine. The diversion program covers six counties and had worked with 117 individuals last year.
Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska offers diversion services on a referral basis, usually for first time offenders. The three-month program is similar to probation and involves community service.
With the passage of LB 560, wages for Emergency Manager Duane Dreiling and Veterans Service Officer Duane Todd will need to be reevaluated by January.
Both currently earn the same as the commissioners, $1,825 gross per month, but don’t meet salary requirements. Both Todd and Dreiling hold appointed positions and while Todd is a non-exempt employee, Clerk Deb Clark is looking into the status of Dreiling. LB 560 requires wage statements that include hours for non-exempt employees.
The next meeting for the commissioners will be Tuesday, Dec. 9, at 8 a.m.