Lamb County Commissioners are in discussons with representatives of Sudan EMS concerning the formation of a Lamb County Emergency Services District.
Dustin Provence, EMT Paramedic with Sudan EMS presented a petition of 141 signatures to Lamb County Judge Mike DeLoach and Lamb County Commissioners to consider the proposal. Mike Hill, a volunteer member of the Sudan Fire and EMS service spoke to Commissioners on the problem the ambulance service in Sudan is facing. Forming the Emergency Services District to include Sudan, Amherst, Earth and Springlake may be the only options to keep the service operating. Hill said they have spent 2 1/2 to 3 years working to obtain a district for EMS personnel. He noted they currently are having trouble maintaining volunteers for the ambulance service mainly because of the time required. It was pointed out that it takes a lot of volunteer’s time to qualify to be on EMS staff, noting 4 different stages of certification. Volunteers must attend four case reviews, stay current with all certification requirements and keep up with training. He noted their is currently not enough volunteers to keep the service running, going on to say, we must start paying people to handle the job.
There are several options to come up with more money, and that is mainly through a district, which would form a board of 5 directors appointed by Lamb County Commissioners. That board would be responsible for coming up with solutions to the money problems. A possible way to fund the district would be a property tax in the district. The group is asking for public hearings to be held and then to ultimately put the proposition on the ballot and let the voters decide. There are models to keep the ambulances running and ready for immediate dispatch, which would include personnel on duty full time or to operate 12 hour shifts with some volunteers.
Lamb County Judge Mike DeLoach stated that the county will have to certify the petition and the commissioners will need to call an election for the proposition within the next 60 days in order for it to be on the November ballot. It was also noted that they could call a special election for July or August as well.