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Recording Ambulance JP Board mtg Jan 29 2024

Board meeting of Ely Area Ambulance Service (EEAS) Joint Powers held in Winton, MN, on Monday Jan. 29, 2024. The assumption seems to be the hospital will take back ambulance services.

The agenda packet included: a) 3 pages of Dec. 11, 2023 Board meeting minutes that were approved. b) 3-page financial update since last meeting. c) 4-page Ely Fire/First Responders’ Building & Ambulance Storage Building Project Environmental Report. d) 3-page proposal from TKDA for architectural services “to continue assisting with project beyond the USDA report assistance and develop construction design drawings and specifications for this project.”

10:35 – 16:05 time marker – In contrast to the Board just focusing on money and buildings, Patti Banks, CEO, EBCH, read a carefully crafted public statement from the hospital regarding ambulance service. She hoped to clarify the hospital’s position. EBCH is attending meetings to collaborate. Hopefully that EBCH letter will be included in the Board’s minutes and shared with the community. Listen carefully to what was read.

Later on, Patti Banks recommended the Board not just ask for dollars. What are their expectations and goals for how the money is spent? You need to do more than just talk about dollars to find innovative solutions for changes. She asked the Board for input that she could then pass on to those conducting their research (SafeTech Solutions), so their recommendations for the project could reflect regional expectations and goals. The hospital study received final info from EEAS last week. Based on the study info, conversations, etc. received from the Joint Powers group, SafeTech Solutions will determine the scope the project as the hospital moves forward. There are at least 3 different viable solutions for innovative approaches to EMS in our region. EAAS needs to make decisions how to proceed with their finances & operations.16:05-19:19 Comments & discussion.

19:20 – 21:24 Patti Banks responded: How communication has been going . . . very little . . .not consistent . . . mostly public forum . . . [we are] continuing to finance a system that is broken . . . This MN legislative session is a policy year, not a budget year . . . If we aren’t going to work together, we won’t be able to impact policy . . . 21:24 Comments & discussion.

23:00 – 24:28 Patti Banks responds to question about the hospital study results. Potential solutions:
(1) A regional model. (2) One model would depend upon who holds the license for ambulance service. (3) The other solution is to do nothing which we seem to be consistently headed towards.
Status quo. 24:28 Board comments.

27:14 Patti Banks: SafeTech waiting to hear from hospital after this meeting. She wants to bring proposals to next meeting. Board discussions followed.

30:35 – Patti Banks challenged the Ambulance Service Board to actually tell what the Board expects from outcomes and goals rather than just more funding. Who gets the money? Where does it go? What are you going to do with that money? . . . What happens when you get an answer you don’t want to hear? . . . She wants innovative solutions that impact change. 33:48 Clarified what she will bring at the next meeting (scenarios only based on the study results).

24:51 РMayor Heidi Omerza thinks legislators would like to hear a viable solution…Maybe they would fund a pilot program. Hint: contact legislators.
25:40 Patti Banks: our solution doesn’t have to be perfect. Legislature could look to model [what we do] in other rural communities, even nation-wide‚Ķ We need crucial conversations together. . . We have to control and impact the change where we can . . . be innovative vs. spinning wheels.

34:44 Proposed building projects presented by Harold Langowski. Discussion with Board.
Funds from USDA are NOT awarded up front.

41:18 – 49:55 Larry Polyner from audience voiced his concerns about location and need for the construction of the proposed fire/first responders’ buildings. He was also concerned about going ahead before the release of EBCH’s research and decisions for EBCH future action are not known. Board discussion followed. Note: Larry Polymer spoke at Ely Special Hearing on Jan. 16, 2024.

50:30 – 53:10 Nice discussion about conflict of interest re: Town of Morse having same person on Joint Powers Board and Ambulance Board. This discussion proves it was/is safe for these Board members to say to the group and the public, “I’m uncomfortable.”

The next meeting of the Ambulance Joint Powers Board is scheduled for February 26, 2024.

Watch another recording on this website: Ely Special Council meeting to provide emergency funding for EMS payroll, 12/13/243

Watch another recording on this website: Special Ely Public Hearing (informational) on these building projects, 01/16/2024

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