The Pryor Times

Local News

November 21, 2012

Big bonuses for MESTA

— The Mayes Emergency Services Trust Authority board approved Christmas bonuses at the November meeting.

Director Rick Langkamp will receive a $4,000 Christmas bonus. Before the board approved the bonus Langkamp said, “If you don’t know the job I do, then we’re in trouble.”  Two board members voted no, Chairman Trent Peper and Jamie Starling. Board members Harriet Dunham and Rob Foreman were absent.

The board approved bonuses for full-time employees of $150 per month for each month worked this year.

Part-time employees will receive bonuses of $75 for each month worked.

A full-time employee who was on the job from January to December will receive $1,800. Part-timers who worked January to December will receive $900 in bonuses.

Employees designated “as needed,” meaning those who fill in will receive a $150 bonus. Board members Peper and Starling voted no for the bonuses. Peper said he would prefer employees be given raises rather than bonuses. Peper said the bonuses for employees come to $73,000, not including Langkamp’s bonus.

“It seems odd to me that we have county employees who don’t get that kind of money,” Peper said. “In Adair employees get a ham at Christmas. This leaves a bad taste in my mouth.”

MESTA has 45 medics and 10 dispatchers. Langkamp’s wife works in the office as his secretary. Board members who voted for the bonuses for employees and Langkamp were Brent Crittenden, Steve Hall, Kaye Baldridge, Leon Blankenship, Don Berger and Kevin Dodson.

“Collections for the month of October were good,” Langkamp said. “MESTA continues to be blessed in our finances. We collected above the yearly average, remembering last month was above budget but lower than this year’s norm and we were back up above this year’s average again.”

Langkamp said the average collection is up almost $28,000 per month and an expected increase of $336,000 per year. He credited the increase to an increase of runs per month. MESTA had 19 runs more in October than average and 228 calls.

Langkamp said the average is $396 per call in collections, or $90,288 for the year. He credited the Blue Cross Blue Shield contract and better collection efforts on the part of their billing firm Intermedix, along with MESTA medics and office staff for the increase in collections.

Langkamp attended the Northeast Oklahoma Regional Alliance summit held in late October at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. He said that NORA is committed to the survival of Emergency Medical Services in Northeastern Oklahoma. He was appointed chairman of the summit group. One of the things he said he would be working on is finding ways to recover the loss of revenue in the upcoming years.

Langkamp said he is researching fueling the ambulances with natural gas. He has found a fully automated system that will work on medium duty rigs costing about $8,500 per ambulance. He estimates that the overall savings of converting the rigs will be about 60 percent.

Once the system is installed and tested for performance and savings, he said he would evaluate placing the system on the remainder of the ambulances after getting the board’s approval. Beger was asked about having a natural gas refueling station at MidAmerica Industrial park. He said there are no definite plans.

“If one were approved today it would be eight months out,”  Langkamp said, before a natural gas refill station could come on line.

MESTA is working with the Grand River Dam Authority to get equipment to receive caller location information from 911 calls on the lake. Langkamp said most emergency calls from the lake are from cell phones.

Tax collections for the month of October totaled $75,360.94.

Insurance collections for October were $188,613.76.

MESTA made 428 runs in October.

In the past, Langkamp included the number of times one spare ambulance was available and the number of times the only ambulance was available was with an off duty medic, but he no longer presents those figures. He said this information is no longer relevant as Unit 95 south of Langley went from being a 12-hour ambulance to a 24-hour ambulance. This 12 to 24-hour change at Unit 95 occurred last November. This summer, the monthly reports mentioned how many times MESTA was at level one and zero.

Total current assets for MESTA were $2,569,828. Total fixed assets $915,684 for total assets of $3,485,512. Current liabilities were $76,668. Total net worth $3,408,844.

In other business, the board approved new flooring for station three in Locust Grove for $1,862.25. The bid was awarded to Carl’s Flooring in Pryor.

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