Work to refit the former Heartland Rural Electric shop at 410 N. State St. into an ambulance station may start before the end of April, Jason Nelson, ambulance director, told commissioners Tuesday. Nelson said he had estimates for electric, plumbing and heat and air-conditioning work. Commissioners pointed out that by policy, bids — not estimates — were required from three vendors.
The ambulance barn would sit behind 911 dispatch services at Allen County Critical Response Center, also a former Heartland building.
The shop will have three ambulance bays, sleeping quarters for four medical responders, a publicly accessible office for Nelson, two additional offices, a large storage room and 36-foot-by-20-foot training area.
“The training area will be available for any county functions,” he said.
Nelson expects to have ambulances and personnel in the building no later than mid-June.
Heartland is building new on former county land in Gas.
ELEMENTARY school children in Allen County will be tutored in 911 services.
Commissioners gave Angie Murphy, 911 dispatch director, permission to organize lessons for children in grades one through five about the service and under what circumstances such calls should be made. Murphy said three dispatchers would carry the message to schools when new D.A.R.E. classes are scheduled.
“It will require only a short time in each classroom,” she said, including a 10-minute video.
DARE classes have concluded for USD 256 (Moran-Elsmore) and USD 257 (Iola) schools, but still are in session in USD 258 (Humboldt).
“We’ll go to Humboldt this spring and to schools in all three districts in the fall,” Murphy said.
Murphy next brought up employee numbers and a wage concern.
When dispatchers transferred from Iola to Allen County’s employment, they were told their compensation wouldn’t suffer. Three working night shifts earned a 30-cent shift differential while at City Hall, a consideration county employees don’t receive.
Commissioners didn’t act on Murphy’s request to give the three a raise, but asked that she return next week with precise costs. They also wondered if the raise, once given, would be rescinded if such workers moved to a day shift.
Commissioners agreed to keep on nine full-time dispatchers — the budget authorizes 10 — plus one part-time employee.
COMMISSIONERS approved a proclamation recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Allen County.
The proclamation was carried to the meeting by members of the Court Appoint Special Advocate (CASA) group, led by the its local director, Aimee Daniels.