The Mayes Emergency Services Trust Authority Board of Trustees debated maps at the meeting Monday night.
On the agenda, mapping software and new computers for six ambulances.
Director Rick Langkamp and 911 Coordinator Brandon Hawkins gave board members a demonstration of the Go2It software on the agenda for approval. The cost would be $12,889 for six single-user licenses, software, installation and USB GPS receivers.
According to a product description, “Go2It Responder TM used the GIS mapping data developed for your county or city’s 911 and addressing system and helps you navigate to specific addresses, coordinates, roads and intersections using real-time GPS tracking.”
It is described as a system that “supports all available GIS data, including roads, driveways, address points, key locations, landmarks, emergency service boundaries and aerial imagery.”
The presentation prompted discussion with trustee Jamie Starling asking questions
“Didn’t we spend a bunch of money on a CAD system?” Starling asked.
Langkamp said the proposed mapping system is becoming standard among emergency responders, including fire and law enforcement.
Chouteau Fire Chief Ted Key was on hand to answer questions about the system as his department is interested in the upgrade.
“Are other fire departments interested in this?” trustee Sherman Weaver asked Key.
“Well yes, but they kind of want us to be the guinea pig,” Key replied. “Delaware County is doing it already.”
Board Chair Brent Crittenden spoke to the nine-county group that is covered by the software.
“Any assist will provide us current county information when we are on the fringes,” he said.
Langkamp explained that the current system requires Internet for information to push to responders.
“These maps would be loaded on the computers to make them faster,” Langkamp said. “We feel it’ll be the beginning of standardized mapping for all county entities.”
Trustee Don Berger spoke in favor of the new system.
“The Industrial Park is looking at adopting this, again, to standardize,” Berger said.
The motion passed with a vote of six yes, four no, and one abstention.
A motion to purchase six Toughbook computers also passed with a vote of seven yes, four no.
Consideration of the purchase of two van ambulances through government contract sparked debate.
Two of the larger medium duty ambulances have over 250,000 miles on their chassis.
“Why don’t we just buy a new medium-duty ambulance and retire one of these with the high miles and get one of these off the road?” Weaver asked. A new medium-duty ambulance would cost approximately $200,000.
Trustee Trent Peper suggested that the board look at the number of hours on each engine.
“That’s how it is with a tractor,” Peper said. “We look at the hours on it.”
Peper suggested that the money used to buy one new medium-duty unit would almost pay for the cost to rebuild both chassis on the two high-mileage units.
Langkamp defended his request for two vans.
“I’m not supposed to run this thing (MESTA) just looking at today,” Langkamp said, adding that he has to look to the future.
“The revenue per run amounts are declining and operating costs are increasing,” Berger said. “Tremendous changes are coming down the line with Obamacare and Medicare.”
Langkamp said as ambulance use increases, MESTA’s role in medicine or “the doc in the box,” he sees first responders will begin to care for some patients at the scene and the patient won’t leave the home.
“I see ambulance becoming more of a taxicab transport. Some think we will begin to transport to urgent care and clinics instead of emergency rooms,” Langkamp said. “I see vans being appropriate and big trucks being appropriate. I believe the good Lord will see us through either way, so you just buy what you want to buy and we’ll figure it out.”
Trustee Leon Blankenship voiced his opinion after listening to everyone else’s.
“You know, I can remember the day when we didn’t have an ambulance service. The funeral homes handled the ambulance service,” Blankenship said, then slammed his hand on the table to stop whispering. “Listen to me.”
Blankenship asked how old pre-911 addressess were located by emergency services. Key said directions were usually asked for.
“If we can afford to stay upgraded then let’s do it,” Blankenship said.
Trustees made a motion to purchase one ambulance at a cost of $57,377. The board will revisit the possible purchase of a new medium duty ambulance or refurbishing existing trucks at a future