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Logan County District 2: County now in compliance with ambulance service

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Recently, many of our citizens have been assaulted with the most road damaging type of weather possible. Soaking rain, days at a time, with slow melting snow, sleet and ice have softened the cap on almost all dirt/gravel roads. This has set us back on several gravel road projects as we address these problem areas as rapidly as possible. Please drive with care until they can be repaired.

Logan County Commissioner Mike Pearson

Logan County Commissioner Mike Pearson

By now, many citizens have noticed the construction of a new 10 mile waterline in District 2. This $1.3 million line stretches along Pine from Charter Oak to Camp Rd, East to Midwest Blvd, then North again on Midwest to the new Loves to be constructed on Hwy 33. Over 200 new subscribers to Rural Water District 1 are projected along this route.

The Harrah Rd project from Waterloo to Charter Oak has hit a snag and is scrubbed for now. The paving on Midwest is underway. Planning on quite a few other roads are in the works. Miles of road gravel problems are staked out and in line for gravel at our earliest opportunity.

My research on ambulance service continues and has been engaged ever since Eric Harlow, Guthrie Chief of Fire and Ambulance Service, contacted me on February 9th. In the interest of open government, I shared this concern with the citizens.

As a young freshman, our state representative HD 31 supported HB 1888, the Ambulance District Bill, which was signed into law June 2010 that allows ambulance providers to be required to only respond to emergencies within their contracted district. I think it was a good bill.

The new change in law was not well communicated, however, to the counties. Part of the new law required the submittal of a county plan for ambulance service. Only 22 of Oklahoma’s 77 counties complied. Logan County did not. During our last BoCC meeting March 2nd, discussion in depth was conducted with Chief Harlow and Dale Adkerson, Administrative Program Manager- EMS for Oklahoma, to ascertain the specifics of this law so that our county would be in compliance. After our meeting, we contacted Director Adkerson directly who led us through the EMS site to the required form. We are now the 23rd county to be in compliance per Director Adkinson.

The commissioners agreed to create an advisory committee composed of representatives of the towns in the affected areas to address the ambulance issue. In district 2, I have contacted Langston and Coyle local governments about the formation of this committee.

I have had many contacts with constituents by phone and email who now understand the scope of the problem. Our plan is in motion and I feel confident that we will have a solution before Guthrie ambulance withdraws service to the outlying areas of Logan County.

According to Chief Harlow and Director Adkinson Logan County could elect by ballot to have one EMS Board for the entire county thus eliminating the three former EMS area boards within the county. If passed, all property in the county would then pay 3 mills for this service although other methods of funding may be available. This new Logan County EMS Board could then contract to the City of Guthrie, Cashion and Crescent plus EMSA, Stillwater and several other ambulance providers to cover the entire county.

I see this competition for services as healthy for the citizens. Chief Harlow agrees that this consequential law change in ambulance policy, the task put on us by our legislature, will enhance services to the citizens with more equipment, manpower, better training, and better response to areas throughout the county.

As always please do not hesitate to call with your concerns and questions to the District 2 office at 282-3405, or email commissiondistrict2@gmail.com or call or text my personal cell phone at 405-650-0384.

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