By Melissa Conrad Rushville Republican
---- — On Tuesday, the Rushville Board of Works approved the lease of two ambulances that will begin later this year to provide ambulance service to city residents managed by the Rushville Fire Department.
Members Gary Cameron, Darrin McGowan, Angie Barton and Ron Jarman unanimously approved the leasing of two 2009 Chevy C450 medium duty ambulances that have been in use by the Shelbyville Fire Department’s ambulance service. Both vehicles have approximately 60,000 miles and the total cost is $138,000 which was the lowest of the three bids the Board of Works reviewed. Cameron made the motion to accept the bid with a second by McGowan.
The billing contract for ambulance services was also approved with Ambulance Billing who will charge 6.75 percent of the cost of ambulance runs for their services. Ambulance Billing’s bid was in the middle fee-wise for services; however, it included the EMS software that will allow them to provide EMS charts digitally to both the treating hospitals and for billing. An iPad was also included to provide remote access for charting.
The Board of Works approved lease financing for the two ambulances with Republic First National leasing at 3.87 percent for 4 years paid annually in arrears, which allows for a year of service prior to the first payment.
Accepted bids for the ambulances, billing and leasing came in below the city’s original estimates used in the planning process, according to Rushville Fire Chief Chuck Jenkins.
The city plans open houses later this year at both the fire department and at the Rushville Police Department for area residents when the ambulances arrive.
RFD plans to begin providing ambulance service sometime in October of this year. Ambulance services have been provided by Rush Memorial Hospital whose board has continued to publicly challenge the city’s move to operating ambulance services based out of the Rushville Fire Department. I.U. Health has agreed to be the sponsoring hospital for the city’s ambulance services.
During the meeting of the Rushville City Council which followed the Board of Works and Unsafe Hearing meetings, RPD Chief Craig Tucker updated plans on a joint training group headed by Rush County Emergency Management Agency Director Chuck Kemker for an Active Shooter Training Exercise that will be conducted at Rushville Consolidated High School Oct. 23, 2013, while students are gone for a week-long fall break.
This exercise has been in the planning stage for over six months and will be a full-scale, role-play exercise with multiple Rush County emergency responders participating including the Rushville Police Department, Rushville Fire Department, Rush County Sheriff’s Department, Rush Memorial Hospital Ambulance Service, Rush County EMA, Rush County CERT, and several other support agencies including assistance from Indiana Department of Homeland Security District 6.
Chief Tucker has stated, “I have noticed several Active Shooter events around the state on the evening news lately, and I am proud to say that we are following suit by taking a proactive approach to this problem.”
The Unsafe Hearing Board consisting of members of the Board of Works also approved moving forward on receiving bids for the razing of two properties, the first at 351 N. Arthur and the second at 227 and 231 N. Main Street. Owners at 351 N. Arthur appeared before the board and asked that they be allowed to continue to remove personal property from the building and blocks which the city has placed in storage. They have until bids are opened on both properties Oct. 13, according to the discussions.
A hearing on another property at 316 W. Ninth Street, Rushville is scheduled for Oct. 1 to address the detached garage structure. That property is in foreclosure and there is some indication that the involved bank may be seeking bids for removal prior to the hearing.
Out of safety concerns, the city street department will also move forward to address the tree that came down at 702 N. Sexton during last week’s storms.
The city council tabled discussions until the next meeting to address creating a school zone or speed limits at Little Stars Learning Academy on Arthur Street when children are present. Owners of the facility appeared before the Council to discuss traffic safety concerns they have during pick-up and drop-off times at the facility. The Council is expected to take up the matter at the next meeting.
Mention was also made that lawsuits involving the former Park Restaurant site have been settled and the council plans to seek public input on the matter in the near future.
At the Oct. 1 Council meeting, members are expected to also address work that has been done in creating a comprehensive plan.
The Council approved several ordinances Tuesday including 2013-6 pertaining to the Rushville Animal Shelter’s operations with animals that have bitten, and ordinances 2013-8 and 2013-9 on salaries as work continues on the city budget.