The Clintonville Area Ambulance Service (CAAS) commission approved the operating budget for 2011.
The commission is compromised of representatives from each community CAAS serves, including the City of Clintonville, City of Marion, Townships of Larrabee, Matteson, Grant, DuPont, Bear Creek, Navarino, Wyoming and Villages of Embarrass and Big Falls.
Don Kimlicka, Director for the service outlines that 2011 will show several needed changes to the service.
“The biggest change is staffing both Clintonville and Marion with in-house crews,” Kimlicka said. “Until 2011, only the Paramedic was required to stay at the station 24/7; the EMT’s had the choice to stay at the station or respond in when a call came in.
“In some cases, the couple of extra minutes it may take to respond did not jeopardize or change a patient’s outcome, but when there are those few calls where extra minutes do matter, we want to do everything possible to eliminate any delay,” Kimlicka stated. “Therefore, we decided it was time to bring the entire crew in-house.”
Other changes to the budget were to add an increase in wages for the providers to be more competitive in the region, provide uniform allowance and increase allowances to expand and enhance training options.
“Training and continuing education are the forefront to this profession,” Kimlicka commented. “New suggestions for care are outlined almost daily; all Emergency Responders must continuously keep up to date as to provide the best possible care to their patients, our public. Our training officers, Andrew Werth and Lynn Schober, are currently working on our 2011 training material.”
CAAS has set several other goals for 2011 which include a falls prevention program (home assessments for hazards), child passenger safety services (car seats), and specialty critical care transports.
“We have numerous goals for 2011 and will update everyone as often as possible,” said Kimlicka. “Our main goal is to be more interactive with our communities and encourage everyone to give us input. We would like to hear what we are doing great, doing wrong or suggestions for the future. We have developed numerous internal committees compromised of several of our EMT’s and Paramedics to bring as many ideas forward as possible. Our goal is to have all staff provide ideas to improve the operations of CAAS, as those who serve our public are a big reason why CAAS exists.
“Finally, the biggest item regarding the 2011 budget is even with all the changes and goals for 2011 we were able to produce a budget that does not increase subsides and contracts to the communities we serve,” Kimlicka said. “The year 2011 will be challenging to any service due to Medicare and insurance reimbursement changes. Our goal is to sustain as best we can, and although there are no guarantees, avoid increasing tax rates in our communities.”
Anyone in the community is welcome to contact the CAAS by phone at 715-823-5967 or by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org.