Tuesday morning, Switzerland County Commissioner Josh South sat down with us at Froggy radio, to discuss some of the details of the new county-owned EMS for Switzerland County.
Commissioner South says that several committees were set up to get the leg-work done to get the new EMS set up. From location, equipment, training, etc. Those committees have been hard at work to secure their respective duties.
The commissioners have received numerous applications for the new EMS directors’ position. The final day for applicants is January 28th at noon. At that time, a committee will narrow down applicants and submit three finalists to the board of commissioners who will interview and hire the new director at their February 1st meeting.
Once an EMS director is hired, Commissioner South says the ball will get rolling fast. The hiring of staff, and securing training and equipping squads and such will happen at that time. South says there will be a fully staffed Advanced-Life Support ambulance in the county, with the possibility of a second basic-life support squad staffed in the county at all times. In that case, one back-up squad would be stationed at Moorefield, Jeff-Craig and East Enterprise Fire Departments and used with a volunteer staff.
As far as equipment, Commissioner South says that Jeff-Craig, East Enterprise and Moorefield Fire Departments have been of tremendous help in this area. These three fire departments have purchased ambulances that will be used for the new EMS. Jeff-Craig purchased two used squads, while East Enterprise and Moorefield purchased used squads from a large ambulance sales and service company in northern Indiana.
Once a director is set in place, the county will offer to purchase all of the ambulances from the fire departments to make them county-owned.
As far as a location, South says the committee is working to secure that location. Several options are on the table. South says there are talks of purchasing an existing building in Vevay or possibly building a new location on county-owned property. South said the best option is to purchase something already standing due to the time it would take to get something new built.
South says the structure of the new EMS will be similar to that of Switzerland County EMS when it first started in the county and was ran by volunteers.
South says it is very encouraging to see so many people and entities, including the fire departments, in the county working together, with excitement, to make the new EMS a reality.
South says a name has not been decided on for the new EMS, but is on the agenda of items to take care of.
South says a realistic time frame for the launch of the new service will be early to mid spring.
Many details are forthcoming, and Froggy 95.9 will continue to update as more information about this new service is available.