MOAD, sheriff working on blood draw issue

By Laura Schiermeier, Staff Writer
Posted 5/25/22

VIENNA — The Maries-Osage Ambulance District (MOAD) Board wants to meet with a member of the Maries County Sheriff’s Office who has authority to make decisions. They two entities again …

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MOAD, sheriff working on blood draw issue

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VIENNA — The Maries-Osage Ambulance District (MOAD) Board wants to meet with a member of the Maries County Sheriff’s Office who has authority to make decisions. They two entities again are at an impasse on the issue of ambulance paramedics not wanting to do blood draws for the sheriff’s office.

At the MOAD Board’s May meeting, Administrator Carla Butler detailed the problem for the board members. The sheriff’s office contacts MOAD when it needs a blood draw, but MOAD’s paramedics are not trained to perform a blood draw, are not comfortable doing it, and Butler and the district’s attorney see it as a liability to the district. She said she knows the sheriff’s office personnel are frustrated with MOAD on this issue. Recently, after MOAD said they would not do a blood draw for the sheriff’s department, an employee, who also is a paramedic with Dixon Ambulance, called and asked why MOAD would not let a paramedic do the blood draw and questioned the paramedic’s skill level. 

“It’s not in our protocols to do blood draws,” Butler said, saying the sheriff’s office should take them to Phelps Health Hospital in Rolla to have it done. 

She said MOAD and the sheriff’s office need to discuss this. However, they can’t get hold of anyone from the sheriff’s office to come to a meeting about it. 

Board President Don Lanning said if the paramedic is not comfortable doing a blood draw, then they can’t do it. Butler said the sheriff’s office said it is MOAD’s job to do it. Board member Laura Stratman said, “Our job is to respond to emergencies.”

MOAD Paramedic Bruce Grotewiel, who was present at the board meeting, said drawing blood is not in the paramedic curriculum. 

Butler expressed her frustration over the issue, saying, “This needs to be taken care of. They won’t return phone calls.” The district even did a Sunshine Law request for the sheriff’s office and got nothing. She asked who holds the sheriff’s office accountable, adding “They should not dictate what the ambulance is doing.” 

It is a liability for MOAD and the district’s attorney told them to “stay away from blood draws. It can come back on us.” Stratman asked that a copy of the article provided by the attorney be shown to the sheriff’s office in order to show them why MOAD will not be doing their blood draws. 

Butler said she would like someone from the sheriff’s office to come to meet with the board and talk to them. It is an on-going issue which needs to be hashed out. The paramedics aren’t comfortable with it as they are not trained. Butler said paramedics are only available in the district about two days a week. 

Board member Victor Stratman said he will speak with Sheriff’s Deputy Scott John, asking him to come to the next meeting. 

In other business at the MOAD Board’s May meeting:

—The ambulance district set aside $20,000 to pay for new asphalt paving at the Vienna Base. The same company set to do the asphalt paving for the City of Vienna, Capital Paving and Construction, LLC, was asked to give the district a bid. Butler said because of the high price of getting it done, Vienna is not going to have any paving done at this time. But, the company did give MOAD a bid of $48,350 if Vienna was having its streets done. If not, the company will not come to do just the MOAD work. Butler said two years ago the price was half of that amount. She said they can reach out to the company later in the summer, but for now, the asphalt work will be tabled for MOAD. 

—It was reported Leonard Reinkemeyer installed the smart thermostat at the Vienna Base and will be doing the same at the Freeburg Base.

—Butler said they will have to table the Cradlepoint installation until they get the repeater issue figured out. The Maries County Commission authorized and sent a letter stating this for MOAD to get repairs to the Freeburg repeater. Also, the Freeburg Mayor authorized for the tower climber to do so to make the repairs. Butler said the tower climber is out of town for about a month so they are waiting. 

She said Board Vice President Steve Maxwell reported a leak in the roof in the repeater building in Freeburg. He will see about getting it fixed. 

—MOAD staffers Paramedics Bruce Grotewiel and Tyler Melton and EMT Hannah Testerman recently presented a CPR class at Maries R-1 School. Butler said she spoke with school nurse Lindsay Otto about the CRP class and she said it went very well.

—Butler reported an Airgas sales representative reached out to MOAD and said they will work with the ambulance district on getting the price quote lowered. Board member Vic Stratman asked is she is still interested in changing companies and going with Ozark Gas instead. Butler said Ozark Gas wants $2,300 up front to start a new account and it would take a long time to recover that. Someone asked if there are only two companies that provide the oxygen. She will look into this. Lanning said where will be a set up fee with any new company the district would go with. 

—Butler said the Freeburg water line has not been repaired. 

—She reported there is a 12-week virtual administrator training starting in July. It is a virtual training one day a week for one hour. Also, in June she plans to take the two day, in-person board member training at the Lake. She was told she can do the administrator training if she does the board member training, which she plans to do. 

—The board has not made a decision about buying from Osage Industries the $190,000 Ford Super Warrior F450 with 73 gas engine ambulance, which will be ready in 2023. Butler said she is leaving it on the agenda in case they want to talk about it.

—Butler will be attending the QI quarterly meeting at Mercy Hospital in Washington, MO.

—It was reported with the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES) Program, each time MOAD responds to a cardiac arrest they are required to go online and log it for the statistical review. Butler said the district’s medical director suggested MOAD participate in this program.

—The district has a couple of people who are near completion of the Advanced EMT class. The class is a pilot program hosted by Osage Ambulance in an effort to train EMT’s at a higher level. But, the districts do not have protocols for them to do their skills assessment. The protocols come from the state and the medical director’s liaison will work with the districts to get the protocols established. They will need to be approved by the medical director. Butler said the skills the EMTs are learning in the advanced training are the skills that make up the majority of the ambulance calls. They hope to cut down on the dire shortage ambulance districts are having by moving EMTs into a more advanced skill level such as helping with nitro, starting IVs and more.

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