In an effort to cut down operating costs, the Edwards County Emergency Medical Services Board of Directors elected to cease night operations at its West Salem Ambulance Barn.

The board further elected to alter the way the West Salem dayshift is compensated, altering the pay for those at the station from $11 per hour to $5 per hour plus $50 per run, which is the nightshift rate of pay for the service. The move is estimated to save the service roughly $120,000 per year, while still keeping the West Salem Station open.

“We have to be able to strike a balance between, number one, it’s our job to provide services for the county,” said board member Levi McDaniel. “That is our main goal. And number two is to take care of our employees.

“We would like to be able to say, ‘Let’s flip it,’ but as a board we’re challenged with making sure we provide those services.”

The service runs on two 12-hour shifts each day, a dayshift from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and a nightshift from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. With the shift in West Salem, payroll and workman’s compensation for the base is expected to decrease from approximately $180,000 to roughly $64,000.

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