MOAD to begin pre-employment drug screens, background checks

By Laura Schiermeier, Staff Writer
Posted 10/7/21

VIENNA — The Maries-Osage Ambulance District (MOAD) Board recently voted to do pre-employment drug screens and background checks on all new district employees.

At the August MOAD Board …

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MOAD to begin pre-employment drug screens, background checks

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VIENNA — The Maries-Osage Ambulance District (MOAD) Board recently voted to do pre-employment drug screens and background checks on all new district employees.

At the August MOAD Board meting, new District Administrator Carla Butler approached the board about making this a policy. Board President Don Lanning said the least they can do is a background check. The cost of a drug screen at Rolla is $51 each. Both board members Laura Stratman and Victor Stratman said they think it’s a good idea. Butler said the background checks are done by the Highway Patrol. 

Current employees do drug screens each year, randomly chosen during each quarter of the year. This has been done for the past three years. 

In other business at the August MOAD Board meeting:

—The district purchased four hand held radios from A&W Communications, Jefferson City, at a cost os $1,055.92. There will be two radios at each base in Vienna and Freeburg.

—MOAD successfully provided coverage for the Maries County Fair, having a truck on scene at every event the fair association asked for. Crews from Vienna and Freeburg split the coverage at the Freeburg Picnic.

—The board discussed the district’s visitor policy. An employee asked if their daughter can come to the ambulance base when they are on duty. The board said only during visiting hours in the day, but not overnight. 

Also, an employee asked if an individual interested in becoming an EMT could ride along in the ambulance. The board said only if the EMT school has a contract for insurance for that person because MOAD’s insurance will not cover injuries to a person not employed by MOAD. 

—The district will begin using the Trizetto billing clearing house. Butler does data entry into billing software through a webpage clearing house. The board approved adding a module into her billing software so with a click of a button it will send the information to where it needs to go. It won’t be used for VA, Medicaid or self-pay patient billing. 

—The board approved buying winter uniform shirts for employees. The work shirts are heavy duty for winter and will be embroidered with MOAD’s logo. They will be purchased at Ozark Embroidery, Rolla, at $55 each.

—At the Vienna base the garage door needed repairs as a spring broke and a sensor was repaired. Capital City Installers, Jefferson City, charged $247. 

—Butler will be sending information and a request to Maries and Miller counties asking for American Rescue Plan Act  money from each county to purchase power load systems for each of the three truck and a video laryngoscope with various sized blades. The Maries County request is $49,015 and the Osage County request is $48,563. Butler said she has been told the quote on the power load systems will go up 10 percent on Jan. 1, 2022. 

—Butler asked the board about having a MOAD Facebook page. She would like the communities the district serves to know the staff members. The board thought it was a good idea. Butler will keep the page updated.

—Butler reported the outside hospital do not resuscitate (OSDNR) order is no longer valid if the patient is pregnant. The policy needs to be adopted and the procedure mandated. These patients have a bracelet and paperwork. Board member Laura Stratman questioned this saying the patient may not always have that with them. The board approved the policy. 

—Butler reported Brian Opoka as the QA/QI compliance officer who works with the medical director helped with necessary reports and the yearly skills review. MOAD Paramedic Bruce Grotewiel will begin doing the yearly skills review training and will help the employees with the reports. The medical director’s liaison, Heather Pratt, came and talked to Butler, Opoka, and the employees about what they expect. Butler said it was good, helpful information. 

—Included on the budget sheet Butler added active and inactive staff information to keep the board appraised about the district’s staffing level. The information reported two active paramedics and nine active EMT’s. There are five inactive paramedics and four inactive EMT’s who have worked two to four shifts in the last six months.

—Butler requested a laptop she can use while working from home. The board asked her to get prices.

—Butler said the employees use the state’s version for report writing. She would like to purchase the Image Trend Elite version software. She said the state version has problems with errors and things they don’t need. With the new report writing system, MOAD can customize its own version at a cost of $650 a year. She said it will take a couple of months to get it built and they will do training and determine which fields to keep. She hopes to have it up and running by the first of the year. The board approved the purchase. 

—There are eight employees who need to do annual driver training per the medical director. This is an online course which costs $30 per person. 

—Butler asked the board members to increase the meal reimbursement of employees. The board increased it from $10 to $15. 

—Butler said the Freeburg base needs some work as it is getting run down. Also some bushes need to be trimmed. Board Vice President Steve Maxwell, who lives in Freeburg, said he would take care of it. 

—Butler said the Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services probably will soon require all staff to be vaccinated for Covid-19 in order for MOAD to be reimbursed for ambulance services. Stratman asked if there are any who are not vaccinated and Butler said she knows of one employee who is not. 

—The board approved the purchase of three portable scanners that hook into laptops to scan paperwork to load into the report writing system. They cost $130 to $150 each. Now the crew members have to make copies of insurance cards and other information and load it into the computer at the base. The scanners will save time. They discussed if the ARPA money could be used as they can make the claim that it will keep people out of the building. 

—Butler asked for employee feedback. She said they would like to see a power washer at the Freeburg base to wash the ambulance. They would like to wear t-shirts in the summer and would like to have a uniform budget for boots and pants. They also mentioned wearing street clothes while doing chores such as washing the ambulance rather than wearing their uniforms. Also requested was extra wings on the cots for bigger people which cost about $5,500 per. 

The board approved buying a power washer for each base and wearing t-shirts from Memorial Day through Labor Day, saying they want the crew members to look professional. Maxwell said no to wearing street clothes, saying not being in uniform will slow down response times. 

—The board agreed to pay for the 911 app for MOAD staff. It’s $14 per person per year and gives staff members information needed for the 911 response. Board President Don Lanning has it with the fire department and he said it helps.

—Butler reported monthly average stats: 3.41 minutes enroute average, 13.78 minutes arrive on scene, 21.43 minutes arrive on scene to left scene, 49.45 minutes arrive at destination, and 84.23 minutes arrive back in service. 

—Butler reported August income of $34,233.22 and expenditures of $36,196.13 for a negative net income of $1,962.91. 

Of the income $188.69 is Maries County taxes, $108.10 Osage County taxes, $13,787.15 service fees, $99.22 other, $200 training fees, $19,833.26 sales tax, and $16.80 interest income.

—In executive session the board agreed to give employees who have worked at MOAD for two years or more a one-time bonus longevity payment. 

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