CARROLLTON, Mo. — A local county at war with its ambulance service may have finally reached a truce.
The peace arrived soon after a combative and controversial ambulance administrator was let go and two new members were elected to the once infamously secretive ambulance board.
Joe Campbell, the newly hired Carroll County Ambulance administrator, said the Carroll County Hospital will no longer need to worry that its patients won’t get the services they need.
Last year, Problem Solvers reported that the ambulance service had refused to transfer many hospital patients to other counties for emergency care.
“There were some staffing problems, and that has been corrected,” said Campbell, who worked for the district as a paramedic for several years before taking over as administrator in May.
Campbell said his biggest task was getting the ambulance district operating in the black again. Payroll has been reduced by nearly 40% by hiring paramedics and EMTs to run the ambulances instead of nurses who commanded a much higher salary.
In addition, Campbell has had to deal with a surplus of costly new equipment and an overstock of medications, all ordered by the former ambulance administrator Mario DeFelice. The hospital has offered to buy many of the medications, which would have most likely expired before they could have been used.
In addition, two new members were elected in April to the ambulance board, which had been notoriously secret about its operations — so much so that the Missouri Attorney General filed suit against the board for repeatedly violating Missouri’s open meetings and open records law.
Campbell said the board’s practices have changed dramatically in the last month.
Meeting agendas and most information provided to the board, including the annual budget, are now made available to the public. Campbell said he soon plans to post much of the information on the Carroll County Ambulance Facebook page.