Members of the Edwards County Emergency Medical Services Board expressed frustration after the county board of commissioners voted to pursue an agreement with Wabash General Hospital to take over the service without mentioning the plan to them.

“So what are we doing here?” asked EMS board member Alex Bond during the board’s August regular meeting Monday evening. “I’m just going to throw that out there, because I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one thinking it.

“I mean, what purpose are we serving if the commissioners are just going to do this?”

Another member of the board agreed with the sentiment.

“That’s the question I want answered,” Travis Sharp affirmed. “Because I’m not going to waste my time.”

The agreement in question was discussed by the Edwards County Commissioners during their own regular session for the month on Aug. 5, when the members of the board saw a proposal from WGH to handle Basic Life Support services for the county. While the county currently has BLS, Wabash General operating the ambulance service would bring benefits to its employees, though it is unclear how much of an additional cost this might incur.

It was also suggested during the county board meeting that the hospital may replace current EMS administrator Tanya Boewe, as reported in The Navigator’s Aug. 7 edition in the story EC Board pursues BLS agreement with WGH.

“They’re charging us for it, so they would have to provide that” said Board Chairman Duane Lear when asked about the status of administrator’s position. “Basically, it’s a pass-through.

“Whatever it costs them is what they charge us. They don’t make anything.”

For his part, Edward County EMS Board Chairman Seth Fearn stated to his fellow board members that he had requested that the county commissioners keep them in the loop on future happenings regarding the ambulance service.

“I just asked that we be informed the next time on whatever they’re doing,” said Fearn. “The ultimate goal between both us is just to run the ambulance service in Edwards County, and to run it the best that we can.

“We have to work together to make that happen.”

For the rest of the story, check out this week's Navigator.