Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
Carter County Emergency Ambulance executive director Rick Loperfido wasn’t present for the last meeting. The director had fallen and broken his arm, board president John Brooks told the board. But before sustaining his injury, Loperfido had completed and submitted his report to the board.
His report, read and put into context by Valerie Nolan – who handles finances for the department – included information on trucks and vehicle needs, as well as updates on staff and run reports.
Loperfido’s report indicated that the month of May was up 79 runs over the same month in 2020. Loperfido said the department continues to see an increase in volume, as more people opt for transport to the hospital than did during the pandemic. Loperfido noted that, despite some lifting of public mask regulations, all ambulance staff continue to use masks and other protective barriers and to disinfect the trucks after each run, among other COVID sanitary protocols.
He also reported that the seals on the oxygen compressor and refill system are due to be replaced, and will be replaced by Carter County ambulance staff this time. Nolan told the board that the staff completing the replacement have been trained extensively and that Loperfido is fully confident in their ability to do the job.
The ambulance service has also added another new EMT to staff, Wayne Mayes of Olive Hill. Loperfido wrote in his report that there could be additional EMT position openings as some of the existing EMTs graduate and move into paradmedic roles.
Trucks, however, were the area where Nolan said Loperfido really wanted to focus. When asked she told the board that the service currently only had three trucks running – for the entire county – but expected to get a fourth back into service later the same day when it was returned from the garage.
Loperfido’s report noted they have been experiencing additional electrical issues on truck #4, but they aren’t sure what the source of the problem is. After replacing alternators and tracing wiring, Loperfido wrote that the Ford dealership believes the issue may be a computer module that needs replacing. The truck has not been utilized much recently due to the issues.
In addition to the problems with truck #4, truck #1 was at the garage undergoing a transmission replacement, and truck #8 had “experienced an engine issue” over the past couple of weeks. Loperfido said the issue appeared to be the alternator and – possibly – the transmission. Loperfido said this issue would be looked into at the local dealership as well. However, he said, with truck # 15 also out of service while they waited for parts to arrive, the department “need(s) at least one additional, dependable backup ambulance.”
“This is probably an area we need to address in the not-so-distant future,” Loperfido wrote in bold highlight in his report. “(We need to) locate an affordable backup truck to be utilized in emergency situations” and when other frontline trucks were down.
The board moved to accept Loperfido’s report, as well as accepting Nolan’s financial report, before adjourning the meeting.
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