Gratis struggles with EMS needs

By Nathan Hoskins - [email protected]

GRATIS — Gratis Village Council held its regular meeting Thursday, July 28, where members received updates on the status of local EMS, police department expenditures, and a new cleansing system for the village’s wastewater plant.

Chief Joan Vance of Gratis EMS updated Council on the status of her department.

“So far for July we’ve been out of service for 31 hours. Talking to the county last night, it’s not uncommon for some of the departments. Everybody is struggling to get personnel.”

Chief Vance remarked, several emergencies within her district have been responded to by Camden EMS, as well as the county. Vance has hopes several local students she is in communication with, who are finishing their EMT certification, will apply to Gratis EMS by Aug. 9, to lighten the load on the village.

Chief Vance also expressed her concerns for members of her department who drive their personal vehicles to respond to emergencies. To remedy this issue, the EMS department is purchasing a 2014 Chevrolet Equinox for the price of $4,000. The cost of the purchase was met mainly by donations.

Council also approved the purchase of two IV-Stat Packs for the cost of $210 for the EMS department. This is a piece of equipment which organizes emergency equipment and reduces the time to access life-saving tools in the field.

Vance also announced the resignations of Cameron Bartlett, a driver for the department, and Makenna Weaver, a paramedic, both effective July 28. Council approved the resignations with unanimous votes.

Gratis EMS has announced requests for help on the department Facebook page, and is currently seeking personnel.

In other business:

• Council approved Resolution 2022-31, a resolution approving the installation of a new UV disinfection system in the wastewater plant, to replace the less efficient, more costly chlorine tablet cleaning system.

• Council approved the purchase of a new fire helmet for the fire department, at a cost of $450 dollars.

• Council received updates on the Police Department’s maintenance costs for patrol vehicles, totaling $1,425 dollars, and approved the expenses.

Gratis Village Council meetings are public meetings held on the second and fourth Thursday of the month, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are held at the Village Administration Office at 404 East Harrison Street in Gratis.

By Nathan Hoskins

[email protected]

Reach Nathan Hoskins at 937-683-4057 and follow on Twitter @NathanHoskins13.

Reach Nathan Hoskins at 937-683-4057 and follow on Twitter @NathanHoskins13.