Thursday, February 22, 2024

Manson Fire covers year-end reports

EMS Director reports on past and future

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MANSON – Chelan County Fire District (CCFD) 5 commissioners and staff gathered for a regular commissioners meeting, Tuesday, Jan. 9 at the Manson Fire Station.
The night’s agenda included some fairly basic items, however, others were more exciting. In a move to increase training on Emergency Reporting, CCFD 5 Administrative Assistant Patty McClellan will be traveling to Phoenix, Arizona in February. The current program in place for all the department’s incident reporting and training is only a small piece of what the program offers explained Fire Chief Arnold Baker, “there is a ton of more modules in there that I’m not even getting into,” he added, “one of the things we’re going to get into is occupancy and fire inspections. There’s modules in there … I know there’s a ton more stuff that we need to do. It’s all your queues of when your stuff is due, it’s all your equipment checks, all that stuff in inside the system if you want to delve into it that deep.” The three-day training seminar would allow McClellan to achieve the knowledge to build-up the system with the newer features, that will ultimately assist in the productivity of the department. “I think it’s a good investment,” said Baker.  
Moving into the Chief’s report, Baker began explaining some information from year-end. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) calls, in particular, have been steadily increasing every year, he explained. “Almost 80 percent of what we do is medical,” stated the Chief. Although the majority of calls responded to are medical, these calls do not affect the department’s overall goals, “we’re right on target” said Baker, “it’s very on target with national data.” Baker, who’s serving as a Rivercom board member this year, moved into statistics on the dispatch center’s efficiency. “They (dispatchers) need to dispatch a fire call in 64 seconds and they need to dispatch an EMS call in 90 seconds … those are the standard,” he explained to commissioners, “they’re doing 54 percent on the fire side and 81 percent on EMS,” he said, expressing that “they have improved by miles.” While improvement on dispatch times has been noticeable, the times still need to see some improvement, he explained.
Continuing into the night’s agenda, was a report given by Chelan EMS Director Ray Eickmeyer.  “(We) saw more patients than we ever have before,” he began, “1,407 total for the year.” The total calls for 2017 has surpassed previous years, with 43 more calls than in 2016 and around 100 more calls than in 2015. Moving through his report, Eickmeyer began to provide statistics for total transports in 2017. With a total of 221 transports “holding steady,” he explained, “that means our hospital is taking care of the patients in the hospital than out, which is only about three percent than the total ER volume.” Transitioning into staffing, he explained the likelihood of the addition of two new full-time paramedics to CEMS. “I had about 10 applications for one full-time position, I’ve never seen that before,” joked Eickmeyer, “especially right now, where all EMS agencies are struggling and on the West Side there’s a lot of retiring career medics.” The 10 applicants went through multiple interviews, skills testing, and knowledge testing and ultimately two positions were offered to highest placing candidates. The visioning for medical services is focused on the community explained Eickmeyer. “We’ll be starting our community paramedic work, we’ve already started our training,” he began, “no one in the whole four counties (Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan and Grant) is doing this.” Medical services within the counties will be receiving a waiver from the state, somewhere around the tune of $5, and “some of that money will be funneled to community paramedic work,” he stated, “which will be a key piece to increase the wellness of our community. We want our patients to be less acute, we want them to be less sick, we want healthier communities. I want to work myself out of a job,” he joked, adding, “I don’t want to respond to anymore medical problems, so that is our goal.”
Manson Fire Commissioners meet every second Tuesday of the month, beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the Fire Station. The next meeting will be held Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Manson, fire, district 5, meetings

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