Ambulance district chair lauds work of emergency responders

Monday, March 20, 2006
Richard (Dick) Woodmansee, left, is the new incoming commissioner to replace outgoing chairman Fred Pierson, right, on the Western District Ambulance Commission. Both are from Holiday Island. The new chairman will be Bob McVey of the Grassy Knob area, with Woodmansee as treasurer and Gary Cooper continuing as secretary. Kathryn Lucariello / Carroll County News

EUREKA SPRINGS -- At its monthly meeting March 14, the Western District Ambulance Commission (WCCAD) bid farewell to commissioner and chairman Fred Pierson and welcomed new commissioner Richard (Dick) Woodmansee.

"I can't believe three years has gone by," said Pierson, who also serves on the Holiday Island Board of Commissioners. "Of all the things I've done in terms of community activities," he told Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) Alliance members, "if you look at the meaningfulness of what you do, there isn't anything more important than saving lives."

He commended their work.

"It's been an education for me, the amount of time and dedication you all put in."

Pierson acknowledged the rough road WCCAD had been over between the past couple commissions and the Alliance. One of the changes WCCAD made during Pierson's tenure was to have him attend Alliance meetings as a liaison.

"I think it's important to have that liaison with the Alliance and recommend you continue that," he said.

Pierson praised incoming commissioner Woodmansee.

"I'm sure Dick will do a fine job, and you won't even miss me."

With Commissioner Gary Cooper absent, the remaining board elected new officers for 2006: Bob McVey as president, Woodmansee as treasurer, and Cooper to continue as secretary.

Eureka Springs Fire Chief David Stoppel said that with the Attorney General rendering an opinion invalidating Eureka Springs' recent election to turn 911 dispatch taxes to the city instead of the county, it remains only for the city and the county sheriff's department to complete an intergovernmental agreement.

"Whether we collect or they collect the tax, we'll still keep our dispatch in Eureka Springs and will get upgraded equipment," Stoppel said.

In other business, WCCAD:

* Heard the monthly ambulance report: of 26 WCCAD calls, 15 were in Holiday Island; 3 in Grassy Knob; 1 in Inspiration Point, 7 on Hwy. 62 East, and none on Hwy. 23 South, Hwy. 23 North or Hwy. 62 West. All calls were first-out calls. Five calls took more than 15 minutes due to weather, road conditions or distance.

* Heard the monthly EMR reports and EMR Alliance reports.

* Heard Stoppel report there are 18 people taking the biannual EMR class, 11 of whom are with area fire departments and the rest either from out-of-area or from the community.

* Heard the treasurer's report. The starting balance was $336,843.76. Two two-mill tax payments came in for $542.60 and $2,619.33. Expenditures of $1,092.69 for immunizations and training materials left a balance of $337,913, of which $284,131.13 is tied up in certificates-of-deposit.

The next WCCAD meeting will be held Tuesday, April 11 at 2 p.m. at the Holiday Island district office at 110 Woodsdale Drive. The public is welcome to attend.

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