Alva Review-Courier -

Woods County EMS sets terms of office, next year's meeting schedule


November 10, 2021

Monday afternoon during their second meeting, the Woods County EMS Board determined how long each of the five board members will serve and their meeting dates for next year. Many of the agenda items were tabled for more study.

Linda Hutchison was still unable to attend so she has yet to be sworn in. Also absent was Bret Smith.

Chairman Matt Sutter led the meeting with board members Arden Chaffee and Joe Phillips present. Also at the meeting were Freedom EMS Director Pebbles Luddington and Alva EMS employee Julie Dennis.

After correcting the spelling of Hutchison’s last name in the minutes from Oct. 25, those minutes were approved. In a discussion of the remaining EMS board officer position, the board members determined that Hutchison would a member at large.

Next up was discussion and action on terms of office. The numbers 1 through 5 were placed in an envelope and each member drew a number. The remaining numbers were drawn for Smith and Hutchison.

Board members decided the term of office would begin on January 1, ignoring the few months in 2021 when they began serving. Sutter will serve one year, Smith two years, Phillips three years, Hutchison four years and Chaffee five years. When a term expires, the Woods County Commissioners will make a reappointment or new appointment to fill the board position. Phillips made a motion to approve those terms, seconded by Chaffee, and the motion carried.

Meeting dates for the next calendar year need to be filed with the county clerk by Dec. 15. The board looked at the first Monday at 1 p.m. with quarterly meetings in January, April, July, and October. It was noted that one of those dates fell on July 4.

Dennis reminded board members that they will be reviewing quarterly reports from the EMS services in the county, and those services might not be able to have reports ready by the first week of the month. With that in mind and the possibility of Monday holidays, board members discussed meeting on the third Tuesday of those months.

Then they talked about the time of the meeting. Chaffee pointed out that meetings during the day would make it less likely that citizens could attend the public meetings. Several times were suggested, and the board settled on 5:30 p.m. Chaffee made a motion, seconded by Phillips to set the 2021 regular meetings for Jan. 18, April 19, July 19 and Oct. 18 at 5:30 p.m. The motion was approved.

In discussion of by-laws for the board, Phillips said the by-laws example provided by Woods County Commissioner Randy McMurphy said records would be kept by the Woods County Fire Department. Those by-laws were adapted from Custer County’s by-laws. Phillips said Woods County does not have a fire department. He talked to Alva Fire Chief Bryan Miller about it, and Miller suggested records be kept at the Woods County Courthouse. The other members of the board agreed.

On another subject, Phillips said he didn’t see how they could put everything together without an administrator. “I am a volunteer board member,” Phillips said. “I did not volunteer to spend 40 hours a week or 40 hours a month or even 40 hours every three months. That’s not what my intentions are.”

Sample by-laws described the administrator as a licensed EMT or a person who could be licensed within a year.

Chaffee said the EMS board should not be involved in the day-to-day operation of the three EMS services in Alva, Freedom and Waynoka.

They discussed how an administrator would be paid using 522 District tax funds and having the county handle the payroll paperwork. Sutter suggested they might hire a consultant who would be paid as contract labor, avoiding the need to track withholding taxes.

Getting back on track, the board addressed the by-laws. Chaffee offered a list of what he’d like added to by-laws: that visitors would sign a register, public comments would be limited to two minutes, and the time of the meetings would allow for visitors from the public.

Board members agreed they needed more work on by-laws, and they’d like input from the two board members not present. The by-laws were tabled.

Board members discussed EMS contracts with each city for EMS coverage. Freedom has a volunteer service so their contract might need to be different from the other two. They would like to see some sample contracts from 522 districts with municipal EMS services like Woods County. Again, they tabled the matter in the hope that they can have all five board members present. Luddington said she appreciated the board taking the time “to get it right.”

The board also tabled possible action regarding creation of an administrator position for the board.

Board members discussed several dates and times for the next special meeting of the board. All meetings this year are “special” since no meeting schedule for 2021 was on file. The board approved meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 5:30 p.m.


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