Jurisdiction across state line a concern

County’s tax asking down by nearly $7,000

Patients just across the state line in Colorado can not be transported by Perkins County Ambulance. 

This was a topic of discussion at a recent PC commissioner’s meeting. 

The board did not sign a mutual aid agreement from Sedgwick County Ambulance Service as it does not permit Perkins County Ambulance to do anything beyond what is outlined by state law. 

Colorado state law states that no person or agency, public or private, shall transport a patient from any point within Colorado in an ambulance to any point unless that person holds a valid license and permits issued by the county where the patient originates. 

This creates a problem for residents who live just across the Nebraska state line in Sedgwick County, Colorado, 25-plus miles from Julesburg. 

“Responders need to understand that we can NOT transport a patient picked up in Colorado. Period. End of story. It can’t be done. Colorado state law does not allow a Nebraska-licenced ambulance to pick up a patient in Colorado and transport them,” said PC Ambulance Captain Bob Tatum.  

He explained if a car accident should take place a mile outside of Venango across the state line, “it’s going to be hard to sit there and not do what you would normally do” when there’s an ambulance one mile away and the one coming is 25 minutes away. 

Commissioner and Venango Fire Chief Steve Tucker said it’s not so much the department that needs to be aware of the law, but the people who live out there and are going to be affected by it. 

Tatum said another issue that arises is that few people have landlines anymore, and 911 calls are automatically dispatched to Perkins County. He asked if there was a way to correct this, and PC Sheriff Jim Brueggeman said calls can not be sent out of state.

Tatum said they’re at the point where their only option is to find out who the residents are and direct them to call Sedgwick County Communications directly if an ambulance is needed, not 911. 

If responding to a call in Colorado is absolutely necessary, Tatum suggested putting a medical kit in a suburban and assisting the patient until the Colorado ambulance arrives. 

“I don’t want to try to explain to a badly injured or sick patient that they have to wait for an ambulance when there’s one parked right there. So I would not take an ambulance,” he said. 

Tucker said the Venango department would draft a letter informing residents of the situation. He questioned whether they should sign the agreement. Grant Fire Chief Don Softley suggested not signing it. The board agreed, as it was basically just a formal agreement of what already exists.  

Budget approved

Commissioners approved the $9.36 million 2018-19 budget unanimously. The tax asking is nearly $2.98 million, down $6,900 from last year. 

Fair board checking acct.

Darren Jensen and Kasey Kroeker appeared on behalf of the fair board to request a checking account for the fair board. 

With this year’s addition of the ranch rodeo during the fair, they ran into some issues. They ended up writing personal checks to cover the costs of contestant winnings and the ranch rodeo company fees. 

Currently, all the sponsorship money is put into the county’s fair board fund, and checks are written through the county’s account as they are approved. Having to pay on the spot at the ranch rodeo was something they haven’t encountered before.  

Commissioner Bernie Deaver said he thinks having a separate account for sponsorship money would make the fair board’s budget process easier. 

County clerk Rita Long is checking with the auditor to see how to proceed. 

Tucker thanked Kroeker and Jensen for what the fair board has done to improve the fair. 

The Grant Tribune-Sentinel

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