Ambulance district approves tuition sponsorship program

A sign indicates the Mid Mo Ambulance District's business office in Tipton. (Democrat file photo/Garrett Fuller)
A sign indicates the Mid Mo Ambulance District's business office in Tipton. (Democrat file photo/Garrett Fuller)

A new tuition sponsorship program is making it even easier for employees of a local ambulance district to grow.

The Mid Mo Ambulance District discussed sponsoring paramedic program tuition for its employees at its March 8 meeting, along with raising the base pay for employees.

According to the meeting minutes, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are presently reimbursed $10,000 over a two-year period after obtaining their paramedic license, as long as they remain employed full time by the district. Administrator Lee Kempf suggested the district instead sponsor EMTs in the class by paying directly for the tuition and 12 hours work pay. The employees must remain at their full-time status to be eligible for the program. Kempf presented the board with an outline of requirements for the program, and said the district attorney would need to create a contract for employees wishing to participate. Following discussion on the topic, the board agreed to adopt the policy and have the district's attorney create a contract.

Kempf also revisited increasing base pay for EMTs and paramedics. The proposed increases included a $0.50 per hour increase for EMTs regardless of service time, and $1-$2 increases for paramedics depending on service time. Although Kempf felt the increases would not help with recruitment, it would instead help with retainment. The board unanimously approved the increases, which will take effect at the start of the next pay period.

The board also approved a $500,000 cash deposit during the treasurer's report since interest rates are better.

Run statistics for February were also presented at the meeting. The ambulance district responded to 382 calls district-wide in February, with 183 transports. In California, there were 68 calls with 48 transports. Tipton had 51 calls and 33 transports, and Versailles had 163 calls with 102 transports.

The Mid Mo Ambulance District Board of Directors will meet next at 6 p.m. April 12 at the district business office in Tipton.