GALENA–The Galena Area Emergency Medical Service Board was updated by EMS coordinator Bill Bingham about the district’s response during COVID during a Thursday, June 25 meeting. According to Bingham, the call volume has returned to normal after seeing a decrease over the previous three months.
Bingham’s figures showed 52 calls in May and 53 through June 25 for the month of June.
According to Bingham, Galena EMS has had a couple incidents regarding COVID patients and possible COVID exposure. Bingham said that one patient that they assisted this month was positive and the crew had proper personal protective equipment (PPE).
“They essentially had no exposure,” said Bingham. “In abundance of caution, three of the seven EMTs on the scene opted to get tested.”
Bingham said the agency is continuing to focus on proper PPE and reiterated to the board that COVID is not going away anytime soon. He said a few of the EMTs are still on furlough to address family concerns due to COVID.
Bingham reported to the board that Jo Daviess County Emergency Management director Chuck Pedersen provided EMS with free PPE and dropped off a package recently to the ambulance garage. Bingham said he was told that Pedersen would not be able to provide any more PPE.
“We are going to have to continue purchasing what we need to purchase so we can get the job done without any level of exposure,” said Bingham.
The board also:
•learned the organization received a $20,000 grant from the Freeport Community Grant Foundation and received a $26,000 grant from the Illinois State Fire Marshall.
•received $1,198.26 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from stimulus funds.
•learned that MercyHealth and the Illinois Department of Public Health were informed of the decommissioning of the district’s 2003 ambulance.
•approved the purchase of three Stryker cardiac monitors at a cost of $89,916.06.
•approved writing off bad debt from patient billing in the amount of $12,562.68.
•approved COVID-19 bonus pay for the month of May totaling $2,150. The bonus pay was based on the number of hours an EMT worked during the course of the month.
•approved an engagement letter with Miner, Gilroy and Meade to provide accounting services.
•adopted the fiscal year 2020-2021 budget.