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RMAS Board enters closed session jointly with City of Darlington
PRIOR TO CLOSED SESSION - The RMAS board conducted regular business with interested parties watching their every move. The board went into closed session to discuss and find a solution to what many of the interested parties are calling a mess.

DARLINGTON – A much anticipated Rural Medical Ambulance Service (RMAS) board meeting was held Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Rural Medical Ambulance Garage. The room was close to standing room only as a large crowd gathered in the small room.

When RMAS April 16 minutes came up for approval it was noticed that on the current agenda ‘approval of the minutes’ was not listed. And since the agenda was already approved, the oversight would be corrected at the June meeting. New RMAS board member Erin Gallagher stated that there were corrections or questions she had on the April 16 minutes. Andy Schilling, RMAS board chair allowed Gallagher to continue.

Gallagher pointed out the minutes listed the meeting day was Friday, and it should’ve been Monday.  Gallagher said, “I respectfully request the removal of the ‘Summary Page’ or ‘Summary Report’ that was included in the minutes in its entirety.

Writers note: The ‘Summary Page’ is an eight page document that stated its purpose was to show “examples demonstrating the dysfunction that has existed for many years within Rural Medical Ambulance Service.” The document includes several anecdotal reports, newspaper excerpts, emails, resignation letters, etc. - from Rural Medical past and present members dating back to 2009.

Gallagher continued, “Based on the excerpts, they were for board information, they are excerpts, not statements and comments. I don’t think they’re detailed enough to be included for public record. My understanding is that some of the information that was included in the report was personnel file information or items from a previous closed session.”

Dave Ohnstad, RMAS board member, said, “That’s not a fact.”

Gallagher said, “I don’t think that entire summary report was introduced at that meeting, so I don’t see how anything outside of Dr. Solverson’s comments could be included into public record.”

Matt Solverson, RMAS Medical Director and board member, said, “I had asked that the document as a whole be put in as public record at the meeting.”

Gallagher stated, “I would like to put on record that people’s names that were mentioned in that report, those are selected excerpts and people have told me that those were from personnel files and closed meeting items.”

Ohnstad responded, “Those were and are the property of Rural Medical Ambulance, they were not personnel files and they did not come out of closed session. They were written to the board.”

In the end the board did motion to approve the April 16 minutes, voice vote with Gallagher voting nay. Approved. It wasn’t clear if the minutes would need a final approval at the June meeting.

Next on the agenda was the Director’s Report and since there is no director, there won’t be a report. [earlier in the week Dave Determan stated he was removed from his RMAS Director’s position].

Medical Director’s Report

Solverson began by saying, “I have a couple items. One thing I wanted to clarify – after reading some of the Facebook comments on Erin Gallagher’s May 12 Facebook post. I sent an email to Dave Determan on May 21, I’ll read some excerpts from it.

Gallagher asked, from my Facebook page?” Solverson said, “Correct, comments that were in response to a statement you made on Facebook.”

Solverson continued [reading excerpts from an email he sent to Determan], “I received a lot of disagreement by my quoting the skill slide from your [Dave Determan’s] assessment. I was wondering if it involved people who did not take as many shifts, it would be nice to clarify that. This may be the case. But the belief of the board and the Medical Director was if Rural Medical staff was providing a competent EMT service when they could respond. Also, skill slide is not something to be fixed with education. RMAS curriculum may not have been documented, planned or organized like yours. I’m unclear of what the state’s expectations are of the documentation, but I know they did training at the meeting and my wife told me it would be in the minutes of the meeting. I think that’s where the contention is from the previous staff.”

Solverson: “I just want to correct the record, if I stated that the EMT’s were not capable, that was not the case. Skill slide came from Dave’s interaction and his assessment after he became RMAS Director and I had errored in not questioning that enough when he presented it to me. So I’ll take that as an error by me and I apologize.”

On another topic Solverson said, “Paramount, as far as I know, has been doing EMT services, they have been learning the EMT service area. I don’t have anything to report other than they are covering the service.”

Gallagher asked, “Has there been anything said about response times? Solverson answered, “I heard there was a problem with communication on one call. I don’t know the details.” Gallagher said, “There was a twelve minute response to a call at the Middle School - that concern was brought to my attention. It might be good to evaluate that and see if more could be done.” Solverson agreed.

Solvorson stated the Paramount ambulance is being stored at the hospital, until this building (Rural Medical shed) can become secure.

Finance Director’s Report

Dave Meister, RMAS Finance Director, handed out a finance report. The highlights Meister reported are: The board checking account sits at $28,475. We have in a reserve account of $63,794, this is from two accounts, the outlay account - $50,770 and member donation account - $13,023. Two outstanding loans totaling $23,050.

The preliminary May 2018 profit & loss report showed a year-to-date income of $68,335 and a year-to-date expense of $59,946.

Gallagher asked “Where on this report does it show what we are paying Paramount?” Meister answered, “We haven’t received a bill from them yet, that will be coming in June.” Ohnsted added, “They bill monthly.”

A motion to approve the financial report as presented. Approved.

A motion to approve the RMAS tax return was made and approved.

Interim Directors Position

Schilling speaking regarding an interim directors position, said, “I received a call from Mark Mandler (Wisconsin Regional EMS Coordinator Regions 6 and 7). He wanted to know what we were going to do. We need to put someone in that position. He wasn’t real worried about our coverage with Paramount. But he was concerned that we need someone in that position for the EMR’s for Wiota and the Darlington Police Dept. and this must be filled by Friday. This needs to be someone in the medical field and they would work with the board on paperwork.

Ohnstad said, “We’re talking to a couple people, they haven’t agreed to do it yet. I’m hoping we can get someone by Friday because the Wiota EMR and Darlington Police EMR are operating under the authority of RMAS and we must have a director in place immediately.”

Ohnstad made the following motion, “The executive committee of this board be authorized to appoint an interim director, until a long term director is found.” The motion was seconded.

Gallagher said, “I have an offering - Dave Breunig would be good, he has administrative experience and EMT experience.”

Schilling asked for a vote on the motion and the motion was approved.

 The RMAS board went into closed session jointly with the City of Darlington council to discuss and maybe remedy the current Rural Medical situation. Cindy Corley, RMAS clerk, reported no action was taken after the board came back into open session.

In other business:

•Schilling stated that he will be stepping down from the RMAS board and Jim Acherman will be taking his place, representing the Town of Willow Springs. This will precipitate a change in board officers that will be addressed at a future time.