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County hires North Memorial for ambulance management

By Kayla Kloos

Sun Tribune

The Stevens County Board of Commissioners approved a contract for interim management services for the Stevens County Ambulance Service at its meeting Tuesday.

The county will contract with North Memorial Ambulance, which has a regional base in Alexandria, for $5,200 per month.

The contract is short term -- no longer than 1 year -- but there is the possibility it could become a long-term agreement.

Commissioner Larry Sayre said North Memorial has an impressive outstate program.

North Memorial officials believe Stevens County has one of the best ambulance services in the state and is looking forward to working with the county, said Commissioner Herb Kloos.

Under the contract, North Memorial will have a manager on-site in Morris not less than three days or 24 hours per week.

The board approved the measure after accepting SCAS Director Ron Flannigan's resignation in November. Flannigan left to take a job at Ridgewater College in Willmar.

The board also approved a rate increase for the ambulance service beginning Jan. 1, 2009.

Discussions will be held with the new interim director from North Memorial regarding hiring one or two additional paramedics. The board granted authorization for North Memorial to hire up to two new paramedics based upon what it believes is best for the county's ambulance service.

All employees of the ambulance service will still be considered Stevens County employees and Stevens County will still be responsible for purchasing supplies and equipment.

In other county business:

• Dean Larson, District Manager for Pictometry Group, demonstrated high-tech aerial imaging software to the board, and the commissioners approved purchasing services allowing personnel from the county to have access to the mapping software.

Pictometry will produce a set of aerial photos of the county from two angles that is expected to increase the accuracy of photos used for zoning, assessments and 911 uses.