“The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is certain or unchangeable.”
- John F. Kennedy
In the five months leading up to the Rescue, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) inter-local agreement, I researched all areas of operations and management. I soon realized that continuing to allocate money into the budget and operating it status quo would prove unsuccessful. I consulted with other Rescue, EMS and Fire Services across the state and with state officials such as the Kentucky Fire Commission. I reviewed every aspect of each service including salaries, use of overtime, personnel, operating expenses and equipment.
Utilizing my business management background, I applied common initiatives for operating a successful business. These actions included a re-organization leading to decreased costs and increased efficiency in addition to improved patient care and services. The organizational relocation of the rescue portion of Taylor County Rescue/EMS Services to Campbellsville Fire Department set the stage for these improvements. Most notable among them are:
• Implementation of quality assurance reviews
• More focus on patient care
• Increased training such as intubation skills
• Realignment of administrative and operational duties to increase the number of available first responders
• Fire/Rescue personnel serving as back up to EMS
• Increased Rescue volunteer activity
• Increased Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) personnel (16 enrolled in EMT class)
• Inter-departmental cooperation (Fire/Rescue personnel training Campbellsville Water & Sewer employees on trench safety procedures)
• $120,000 reduction in expenditures during the first six months
While these changes have resulted in cost savings and more efficient operations, both EMS and the Campbellsville Fire/Rescue are facing challenges. Among those challenges is the training of an increased volunteer pool, which is indicative of a growing interest in, and support of our EMS and Fire/Rescue services. These volunteers, when trained, will strengthen our staff available to handle any emergency.
A difficult challenge facing EMS is increasing fuel costs, which are projected to exceed budgeted expenses by 10% for fiscal year ending June 30, 2012. The deployment of more fuel-efficient vehicles or units is believed to be the most effective means to reduce expenses.
The maintenance and repair of our aging, primary (first-out) medic fleet is compounded by a number of units approaching 200,000 miles. This is illustrated by recorded maintenance expenses of 136% of the budgeted amount within three-fourths of the budget year. The front-line medic units make daily runs to Louisville hospitals. In an effort to remedy this, I implemented a schedule to purchase and pay off a new medic unit every two years. This new rotation schedule will reduce purchase costs and expensive repairs while providing for a more reliable vehicle fleet.
The departments have embraced the changes in a positive and productive way. I appreciate everyone’s effort to make these adjustments. I am excited about all the improvements and look forward to continuing my efforts to improve services at CTCEMS and the Campbellsville Fire /Rescue Department.