MOAD staff shows commissioners equipment purchased with ARPA money

By Laura Schiermeier, Staff Writer
Posted 9/21/22

MARIES COUNTY — Three staff members from the Maries-Osage Ambulance District (MOAD) came to last Thursday’s Maries County Commission meeting to show the commissioners what a portion of …

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MOAD staff shows commissioners equipment purchased with ARPA money


MARIES COUNTY — Three staff members from the Maries-Osage Ambulance District (MOAD) came to last Thursday’s Maries County Commission meeting to show the commissioners what a portion of the county’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money had paid for.

MOAD Administrator Carla Butler and district EMTs Francy Runge and Claire Schreiber brought one of the McGrath video laryngoscopes into the meeting room to show it to them. The laryngoscope has a small screen and it helps crew members put a tube down someone’s throat. The video on the screen helps them make a more accurate placement of the tube. The light on the device they were using before is not nearly as good. The better they can see, the better the placement of the tube. They said the portable device makes a big difference. 

Each of the commissioners viewed it and Eastern District Commissioner Doug Drewel put the end of it down into a drawer and said even in limited light, he could see inside the drawer. It is operated by a battery that works for about 250 hours.

MOAD bought three of them. Maries County ARPA money paid for one of them and two boxes of blades. The cost of each of the laryngoscopes is $2,200.

MOAD also was granted ARPA money for one and a half Stryker medical power load systems, equipment service plan, accessories and installation at a cost of $32,010.59 for one, and $16,505.29 for a half of one. The district purchased three of them and is financing a portion of the cost, but still has some hopes that Osage County will grant them some of its ARPA funds to pay for some of it.

On Thursday, Runge and Schreiber demonstrated the power load system to the commissioners, Treasurer Rhonda Slone, Clerk’s Deputy Renee Kottwitz, and Sheriff Deputy Major Scott John. When putting the stretcher into the back of the ambulance, it hooks up to a set of arms and picks it up and the crew pushes the stretcher into the truck. Before getting the power load system, this had to be done manually and required strength, especially for larger patients. The EMTs said this load system can handle up to 700 pounds. It is a back-saver, they said. Ambulance districts throughout the state are short on ambulance staff and this power load system keeps down injuries and makes MOAD more attractive to potential employees. 

MOAD’s total request from Maries County was $54,270 from ARPA funds, which is COVID-19 relief money from the federal government. 

9,000 hours

The commissioners received another price for new road graders, this quote from a John Deere salesman from Martin Equipment, Ashland. Salesman Keith Thompson met with the commissioners Thursday morning. 

He said the John Deere graders have both a steering wheel and a joy stick for steering. Western District Commissioner Ed Fagre said the Road One grader operators, once they got used to them, like the joy sticks. 

Thompson said if the commissioners decide to purchase road graders from his company, it will take about six months to get them. He said they won’t come from overseas as they are made in America in Davenport, Iowa. Timing is important and will save the commissioners money as the prices will go up in November. He said usually it’s about a five percent increase, but who knows what the price increase may be. John Deere said the price of parts is up 30 percent and the warranty price was increased because of it.

The company offers a seven year, 9,000 hours warranty. Thompson said 9,000 hours is a good number to cover the county with the warranty. Drewel said he figures about 1,200 hours a year are put on the road graders, “But you don’t know what tomorrow brings,” he said.

The commissioners were given prices on 622 motor road graders for Road Two, and on 672G motor road graders for Road One. The difference is the 672G is larger. Each of the graders has the same warranty. Looking at his quote, Drewel noted “the old graders aren’t worth much.” 

The county won’t be able to use the front lifts from their current Fabick Cat graders because Thompson said the bolt patterns won’t line up on the John Deere graders. The current ones probably need to stay on the machines they have, Thompson said. 

All of the graders have cameras. They also have John Deere link monitoring, which can be used from a phone app or a computer to see what’s going on with a particular road grader and where it is. 

The seven year, 9,000 hours warranty is $13,000 extra on each road grader. Thompson said it is unlimited, but excludes “screw up stuff,” such as if the road grader is damaged by running into a tree, then it’s on the county. Everything else, including travel time and mileage for trucking the graders to and from the John Deere garage is part of the warranty. The company estimates a road grader needs a trip to the repair site about every 700 hours for unlimited repairs. He said the warranty price went up the previous week. Thompson suggested the commissioners not wait too long to make up their minds as the prices will increase on Nov. 1. 

The commissioners were curious about if electric road graders are coming and Thompson said they already are seeing an increase in hybrid models. They save a lot of money in fuel. The prices of these machines with new technology are competitive, too. “They’ve got it figured out,” he said. 

Getting closer

County IT Manager Shane Sweno was at the meeting briefly. He said he is closer to getting the process straightened out with the federal government with the ARPA money the county has been waiting on since June. He said the reauthorization process is difficult as he can’t talk to a person. The county is waiting on $800,000, which is the second installment of Maries County’s ARPA money. 

Survey program

Maries County is continuing its participation in the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s survey program. Any surveyor in the county can potentially be reimbursed when they certify corners. These are recorded and it helps other surveyors and those who work with legal land descriptions. Surveyor Tyler “TC” James, owner of Show-Me Land Surveying, LLC, Vienna, has been doing them. The state will reimburse the county for up to five corners per year. 

Belle PD

There was some discussion about the City of Belle talking about the reestablishment of a city-owned and controlled police department. Currently the Maries County Sheriff’s Department is under contract for policing services in Belle. 

An article in the Maries County Advocate said Belle wants to have its own police department by early 2023.

Presiding Commissioner Victor Stratman said when Maries County took over Belle PD, the goal was to get that police department straightened out and for Belle to take it over again.

Over 300 calls

IT Manager Shane Sweno said the county’s 911 Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system has taken over 300 calls since the new system went online on Aug. 29, 2022. He said there are some issues they are working through, but overall he is pleased. It works well with Rolla PD. 

The new CAD system has the ability for sheriff’s deputies to run plates from a laptop in their vehicles. For MOAD, the ambulances will be directed right to the place they are supposed to be. Sweno said the status of where first responders are can be seen in real time. When the call comes in they see the coordinates of where the call is coming from, and the first responders can be routed right to the address points. He said when the call comes in the dispatchers see the coordinates of its origination. In another month or two, the county will have a fully upgraded 911 system. 

They talked about how many ambulance calls are dry runs, which are calls when the patient refuses to be transported by the ambulance. Sweno, who in addition to his work for Maries County, also works on the ambulance for Dixon Ambulance. He said they use equipment and supplies on these dry runs that the ambulance district is not reimbursed for. Drewel said many don’t understand it costs a lot every time there is a call and people respond to it.


The group at last Thursday’s meeting talked briefly about the narcotic Fentanyl. Drewel said a person he knows told him it is everywhere around the county, even in schools. 

Fentanyl is a controlled substance with high risk for addiction and dependence. It can cause respiratory distress and death when taken in high doses or when combined with other substances, especially alcohol or other illicit drugs such as heroin or cocaine. 

Deputy Major Scott John said the sheriff’s office hasn’t had as many overdoses recently as it used to. He said they’ve done a good job cleaning up some of the dealers, but more work is needed, especially in some parts of the county. Some of the sheriff’s deputies carry NARCAN, a potentially lifesaving medication designed to help reverse the effects of an opioid overdose in minutes. 

John said seven people have been sent to prison recently.


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