Little more than a year ago, the Harrison County Emergency Squad was almost DOA. Now, not only has the squad stopped the flow of red ink, it has managed to give its employees raises and purchase new ambulances. It's a truly remarkable turnaround.
In January 1999, the squad faced bankruptcy or the possibility that it would be sold to a private service. The board of directors decided to avoid both and began a restructuring of the squad that involved cost-cutting, streamlining and an adjustment in Medicaid reimbursements. Essentially, they started running the agency like a business.
As a result, the staff received pay raises in January of this year and the squad has purchased two new ambulances and plan on buying a third. Morale among the workers has increased and the overall outlook is positive.
To top it all off, the squad received a superior rating from the state in March.
It's a little like a baseball team being last in the division one season and winning the World Series the next. It is the kind of turnaround that surprises not only the public but the players themselves.
The Harrison County Emergency Squad provides a valuable and necessary service. It is now in a better position to serve the public more efficiently and with better resources. The squad, its board of directors and the county commission are to be commended. The surgery was a success.
Today's editorial reflects the opinion of the Exponent editorial board, which is comprised of James G. Logue, Kevin S. Courtney, Patrick M. Martin, Matt Harvey and J. Cecil Jarvis.