After seeing all seven of its board members resign, the Edwards County EMS Board of Directors now has seen five of its seats filled.

The Edwards County Board of Commissioners appointed Matt St. Ledger, Kent Reid, Danny Iverson, Harold Alka and Bruce Longbons to the EMS board by a 2–0 vote, with St. Ledger, a commissioner on the board, abstaining. The new board will need to take certain actions before the county can sign a contract turning over operation of its ambulance service to Wabash General Hospital, according to one member of the county board.

 “That contract has not been signed yet,” said Davis Messman, Chairman of the County Board. “There are certain things that must be done by the EMS in order for us to move forward with signing that contract

“And the task for the board that we’ve appointed today is to carry out those things.”

Earlier in the meeting, the chairman addressed the final actions of the previous EMS board during their March meeting.

“It appears that at the end of the meeting, under new business, the motion was made to deed back the Moravian Church parking lot,” said Messman. “I think once we install a new board, they’ll have to follow up on that.”

Messman also noted that the EMS board voted to dissolve its corporation by a 3–2 vote, as well as taking another action.

“And a motion for the EMS tax dollars to be returned to the tax payers was made by Alex Bond and seconded by Nancy Cowling,” he explained. “I’m not sure what that is.

“I’m assuming they’re returning it back to the county.”

While only five of the seven members of the board, Seth Fearn; Travis Sharp; Debbie Haycraft; Alex Bond; and Nancy Cowling, resigned at the previous EMS meeting, the remaining two board members also submitted letters of resignation to the county.

“Levi McDaniel and Justin Miller were not in attendance,” Messman noted. “But I have their resignation letters. I think both doctors felt like they were in kind of a catch 22 because they also work for Wabash General, and that was something that this board didn’t feel like we needed to sign a contract with, or at least have more discussion before we signed a contract with Wabash.

“Anyway, in a nut shell, they’ve all resigned as our board members on EMS.”

As such, the county board was tasked with appointing at least five new members to the EMS board.

“We’ll need to reappoint five new board members, because there’s no one on the board to bring to the commissioners to reappoint,” he said. “We’re going to reappoint five new members to the EMS Board today.”

Messman also read from a prepared statement regarding the EMS Board’s decision to unincorporate and the resignation of its members, first addressing a text message from him read at the meeting that was much discussed at the March EMS meeting.

“It appears that the text I sent to the board president was taken as a threat of suing the board,” he stated. “It’s my fault for not calling and explaining out position better to the board president.

“My intent was not to sue, but to seek other legal means to transition from our EMS personnel to Wabash General Hospital managing our EMS personnel.”

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