Priority Medical Advanced Life Services And Assessment Projects Main Topics At City Council

BROKEN BOW—While the action items for the Broken Bow City Council took less than thirty minutes to approve, the main discussions at the meeting centered around Priority Medical and the hopes of a future partnership with Melham Medical Center and the City of Broken Bow.

Director of Acute Care and Nursing Services Shelly Amsberry led the discussion item where she talked about the importance of Advanced Life Services (ALS), which is not currently available in Broken Bow.

Amsberry talked to the council about the goal of Melham Medical Center to have patients in the hospital and on to advanced care in 120 minutes or less. Amsberry said due to the closest ALS being over an hour away, the Emergency Room (ER) fails to meet this goal nearly 100% of the time.

She also noted that the ER sees around 240-250 patients that are transferred to higher care and of those, 75% need ALS. In 2019, Melham Medical Center averaged 175 minutes in trauma patient transfer which ranged from a broken hip to car accident victims.

While the City of Broken Bow has an excellent volunteer emergency services team that can provide Basic Life Services (BLS), they are unable to transport patients due to state regulations.

Instead, they must transport any patients to the closest hospital and if advanced care is needed, services must be called in to transport the patient. With ALS, they can bypass the closest hospital and instead travel to the care center that is most appropriate such as transporting the patient to Kearney.

Broken Bow EMT Captain Shane Fiorelli also spoke to the council saying that as long as the calls are shared with the volunteer service and both sides are able to stay in business, this is a huge opportunity for Broken Bow. Fiorelli also noted that the education and training that would be available through Priority Medical would be a huge benefit.

Melham Medical Center CEO Veronica Schmidt stated that with a possible partnership, the cost would not fall on the shoulders of one organization. She also stated that when the ALS crews were not on a call, they would be working in the ER as one of the staff members.

While no decision was made, a question was asked on what the timeline would be for a possible vote to move into a partnership. Mayor Rod Sonnichsen stated that it would depend on the budget, which was recently finalized, and all of the questions answered.

Steve Parr from JEO Consulting Group also talked during the meeting about the 19th Avenue Assessments and the Memorial Drive Street Paving Project. Parr stated that the total cost for the South 19th Ave. Assessments totaled at $430,932.66 with the general obligation cost coming in at $298,238.66. Mayor Sonnicshen stated that this road was dirt that had been replaced with curb and gutter before the drainage was enhanced.

For the Memorial Drive project, Parr stated that the hospital has a majority of the property next to Memorial Drive with 965 feet while the rest of the road on the south side sits against 945 feet of other property owner land.

This road has seen large amounts of damage as a high traffic area and also was damaged even further during the flood of 2019. It is also the only entrance to Memorial Medical Center from the west which did raise some questions whether the city could use tax money instead of assessing the four property owners along the road.

Other approvals included condemning the house located at 631 South 9th Ave. as unsafe and allowing the homeowner time to demolish the property. According to the motion by Councilman David Schmidt, the homeowner will have 60 days to begin the process and 120 days to complete the demolition, or the city would step in and finish the project. The motion was approved with three ‘yes’ votes with Councilman Chris Myers voting to abstain.

Steve Parr was also approved to serve as the Street Superintendent for the year ending December 31, 2020, Butch Brunken was reappointed to the Community Redevelopment Authority Board for a term ending 2025, the license and management agreement for use of municipal property for non-sports venues and facilities was approved, and the easement at 244 South 9th Ave. for Opportunity Land Investments LLC. was also approved.

The next Broken Bow City Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 28 at 6 PM.

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