City, County agree on new extrication understanding

Murray city council members voted Thursday night on the last part in a city-county extrication agreement. First responders perform extrications when a person needs to be rescued from a car crash.

The decision comes a week after Calloway County leaders settled on a Memorandum of Understanding. The memorandum places Murray Calloway County Hospital ambulance service as the primary party responsible for extrication.

The council first faced the decision to agree with the memorandum of understanding. Ahead of the meeting, Emergency Management Director Bill Call sent an email to council members. It asks the city to transfer R1 and the tools to, “allow movement forward …. and reduce the direct costs of the city towards this service.”

City leaders — including Fire Chief Eric Pologruto and Mayor Jack Rose — said they did agree to the memorandum. In addition to the memorandum, Pologruto drafted an automatic aid response. If signed by all parties, it says the city, county, and hospital agree regardless of primary or secondary designation —rapid response in extrications is the key.

Second was the debate over R1, and if it would be given to the hospital. R-1 is the vehicle that only does extrications in the county. Thursday night, the council voted 8-6 to consider R1 surplus, and give it to the hospital EMS service. Click here for R-1 Transfer Information.

Rose said the hospital EMS having these extra resources would mean better service, but Councilman Pat Scott said the hospital has too many other responsibilities, and it would cost someone’s life.

“Why would we want to settle on a lesser service than what we have now? Since when did Murray and Calloway County settle for second best on anything?” Scott said.

Scott says the hospital’s resolution to hire one extra person for each extrication shift isn’t enough.

The change in extrication responsibility originated because of money and funds. The city thought the $10,000 stipend from the county for county extrications wasn’t covering the costs. The county will instead pay the $10,000 to the hospital.

The city currently provides extrication in the county. The new agreement will begin July 15.

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