The Bridgeport city council Thursday night will hold a special meeting where they will discuss dissolving the city’s emergency response volunteer unit and placing the city’s emergency response efforts under the direction of Morrill County Hospital.
The volunteers have been responding to basic emergency response situations and paging the Morrill County paramedics when they needed advanced live support. Mayor Jack Berg says what the council will consider Thursday night will make the city’s response more efficient.
Berg said, “You have two different units doing the same thing, and there have been some conflicts between the two of them, and miscommunication. We just felt it would run a lot smoother if the hospital , in the medical business, and with 24 hour a day paramedics, answered these calls.”
Berg and Morrill County Hospital Administrator Robin Stuart say the volunteers can still respond to emergency calls using Morrill County equipment. The hospital’s service has been used primarily for inter-facility transfers and Stuart denies contentions by volunteer supporters that the change is being suggested to help the hospital’s ambulance service survive financially.
Stuart said, “It should be about patient care, financial considerations should not play a part in the decision that is being made.”
The volunteers also say they have not seen a transition plan yet to move the basic emergency service over to the hospital.
The Bridgeport council had tried to approve an ordinance to make the change last week, but did not do it correctly, resulting in the second effort scheduled Thursday night.
The meeting starts at 7 p.m.