Starke County Commissioners Question EMS Purchases


The recent purchase of jackets for full-time Starke County EMS employees who work “consistent monthly hours” has raised some eyebrows. Director Keith Emigh told the county commissioners Monday the coats have reflective safety strips on them and incorporate the new logo patch recently designed for the service. He adds they are the property of the service and will need to be returned if an employee quits or is fired. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Set Rate for Dedicated Ambulance Service


Organizers of events like this weekend’s high school rodeo in Grovertown can pay the county to have a dedicated ambulance at their event the entire time. The Starke County Commissioners Monday approved a $500 charge to cover the cost of the truck and personnel to staff it. That same option is available to any event or organization that would like to ensure medical personnel are on site at all times. Continue reading

Starke County EMS Still Seeking Part-Time Paramedics


Starke County EMS still needs a few part-time paramedics to ensure county-wide advance life support coverage around the clock. Director Keith Emigh told the county commissioners Monday the base in Knox is always fully staffed to meet ALS requirements, and the base in North Judson is between 95 and 98 percent of the time. He says a few more are needed to pull shifts in Grovertown. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners Bless Revised EMS Job Description


Starke County EMS Director Keith Emigh has the blessing of the county commissioners to revise a job description within the ambulance service to create an EMS 2 position. That person’s job responsibilities will include hiring and training new staff, oversight of all medics and handling many of the day-to-day operational duties of the service. He or she will report directly to Emigh, who told the county commissioners the new position will ease his workload considerably. The position was posted earlier this week, and Emigh will interview the candidates and do the hiring. He did need the commissioners’ approval of the revised job description. Continue reading

Starke County EMS to Bill for Non-Transport Services


Starting Jan. 1, patients who are treated by Starke County EMS but refuse transportation to the hospital will be billed for services. Several nearby counties have such a policy on the books already, and the Starke County Commissioners last week approved one. EMS officials say charging for things like lift assistance and routine checks will help cover the costs of things like fuel and medical supplies. Continue reading

Starke County Commissioners to Discuss Highway Superintendent Contract, Morgue Space

starke-county-courthouseThe Starke County Commissioners will revisit the notion of offering Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler a long-term contract when they meet this morning. President of the Commissioners Jennifer Davis is spearheading the effort in order to maintain continuity within the department. She notes Ritzler has a multiple-year plan for road and bridge improvements and wants to see that it is carried out.

Commissioner Kent Danford previously raised concerns about the precedent such an action would set. He says possibly offering Ritzler a contract is a “test case” and adds he will say no to anyone else who requests a long-term employment contract until he sees how this works. Commissioner Kathy Norem agrees and says the county commissioners need to approach any such matters with an abundance of caution. Danford agreed at the last commissioners meeting to meet with county attorney Marty Lucas before today and come up with contract language to address his concerns. Continue reading