The Pettis County Ambulance District Board of Directors has a new chairman and secretary after Chairman John Meehan resigned his officer position in late September.

Meehan told the Democrat by email before Tuesday night’s meeting he had informed the board and the PCAD administrative team he was vacating the chairman position Sept. 25, the day after the board’s last meeting.

“I have not been the leader that the board wants as evident of the several 5 to 1 and 4 to 1 votes,” Meehan wrote in the letter, which he provided to the Democrat. “I do not feel comfortable signing documents and ordinances on behalf of the board when I voted no on the issues. Effective today (Sept. 25) I am resigning as chairman of the board.”

During Tuesday’s meeting, board secretary Nick Gerke was elected chairman. Board member Mike Brown was elected to replace Gerke as secretary. Vice Chairman Mike Layton and Treasurer John Fritz remain in their positions.

Relating to the officer elections, the board approved the following items:

• Resolution 2019-07, appointment of officers.

• Resolution 2019-8, authorize signer of bank documents and checks.

• Resolution 2019-9, authorization to open and access safety deposit box.

• Resolution 2019-10, authorize viewer of electronic financial accounts.

EMS Chief Eric Dirck informed the board about a new public safety initiative he is working on with Bothwell Regional Health Center CEO Lori Wightman. AEDs, or automated external defibrillators, are becoming more common in public places, but many are not registered on any type of database. Bothwell and PCAD are working to create a county-wide database of every AED in Pettis County. He said he thinks it will take a few months to complete the project. 

“They are everywhere, but people are buying them and have not done a good job of putting them into existing databases,” Dirck said. “A lot of churches have them, all public schools in Sedalia have them. So we’re looking into where they are and when they are available. … We will also provide that information to dispatch so they can tell a caller there is an AED available at their location.”

Dirck reported PCAD has surpassed 2018 call volume. Year-to-date, PCAD has responded to 5,562 calls compared to 5,502 last year. It has responded to 833 calls in Windsor compared to 978 in Windsor.

He also reported that after several months of staffing vacancies, the district is fully staffed. He said he hopes to have all new employees fully trained by the end of the month. He said most of the district’s PRN staff, or part-time staff, stepped into full-time positions.

In CFO Jamie Luebbering’s absence, Fritz gave the financial report. He said the district is on track for the 2019 budget, using about 66% of budgeted funds so far. He reported September sales tax revenue decreased but it was initially unclear if the decrease was due to the lower tax rate approved by the board earlier this year or due to decreased overall sales tax revenue. The board voted to reinstate the 0.5% sales tax rate during its last meeting.

IT Director Ryan Newsom presented information regarding software and iPads for board use to help with organizing and disseminating meeting information, something previously suggested by Fritz.

Newsom said this would eliminate the need for printing and mailing meeting packets to board members, as all documents would be stored in the cloud-based system. An iPad would be purchased for each board member. Dirck said the software would be helpful when new board members are elected since the software allows easy access to historical data and past documents.

Newsom added that it would save him, Dirck and Luebbering time and money preparing documents for board meetings.

The board asked Newsom to research software options and bring more information to a future meeting.

The board adjourned to closed session for legal actions or privileged communication with attorneys, leasing, purchase or sale of real estate, welfare cases, documents related to a negotiated contract, and records protected from disclosure by law.

All members were present.


Nicole Cooke is the editor for the Sedalia Democrat, overseeing all newsroom operations and assisting with news coverage of Sedalia and Pettis County. She can be reached at 660-530-0138 or on Twitter @NicoleRCooke.

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