City, MEMT share in cost for EMT training

City Council
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The City of Monticello is working with the MEMT (Monticello Emergency Medical Team) to assist candidates wishing to take part in the EMT training to then serve on the Monticello Ambulance Service.

     During the Jan. 3 city council meeting, the council approved a cost-share program with MEMT. The trainee would cover $235 of the cost, with the city and MEMT sharing the remaining $1,668 of the total $1,903.

     The goal of the training is to make more EMTs more locally available to use as part of the Monticello service. With more EMTs scheduled for on-call that would reduce the Ambulance Department’s overall budget in terms of staff and overtime.

     The city would reimburse MEMT 50 percent of the cost (roughly $800) after the trainee passed the EMT certification and was listed on the Monticello ambulance roster. The original resolution called for the city’s reimbursement after completing a two-year employment obligation.

     “MEMT doesn’t want to wait two years,” said Council member Chris Lux, who also serves as treasurer of MEMT (unrelated to her council position).

     Police Chief Britt Smith said the original intent put some of the burden on MEMT “to ensure they meet the two-year obligation.”

     Lux said if the trainee didn’t pass the certification, the city would be protected in its cost-share agreement.

     Council member Dave Goedken suggested taking the training costs out of the EMTs’ wages until they pass the test. Smith said that could take some time to accomplish if they were only on the schedule sporadically.

     Lux said those training for the EMT course want the opportunity otherwise they wouldn’t enroll.

     “Once they start the class, they’re already considered part of the department; they’re already invested,” she said. The Ambulance Service is operating with a minimal number of volunteers right now.

     ‘This would also create a greater pool of paramedic candidates,” said Smith.

     Mayor Brian Wolken said his one concern would be helping these people pay for the training only to have them leave the community. Smith said the city has the means to pursue the $800 through a collection service.

     So far, seven people had applied to take the EMT training, which starts Jan. 16.

In other city business

     • The council approved the purchase of a 2018 E350 chassis with a utility box from Freese Motors in Monticello for $40,700. The van will be used by the Water Department to replace the current, rusted vehicle.

     • The council approved the fifth pay request from Taylor Construction, Inc. in the amount of $69,199.72 related to work on the E. First Street Bridge replacement project.

     This also included a change order in the amount of $3,300 tied to concrete maturity testing.

     • The council approved the fourth pay request from Eastern Iowa Excavating & Concrete in the amount of $1,947.50 related to work on the Main Street resurfacing project.

     This also included a change order in the amount of $2,050 tied to a contract incentive if certain pavement smoothness standards were met.

     • Public Works Director Brant LaGrange informed the council that an employee with the sanitation department had resigned and gave his two-week notice.

     “At this time we’ll look for a part-time person to fill the spot,” said LaGrange, despite the position being full-time.


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