Nelson Fiscal Court asked to create incentives for EMTs to become paramedics

Kindergarten students from Bloomfield sing a song that includes international sign language at Tuesday’s meeting of Nelson Fiscal Court. Click to enlarge.

Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Feb 6, 2024 — In an effort to recruit more paramedics, Nelson County EMS is asking Nelson Fiscal Court to change the way it reimburses EMS employees when the pursue additional medical training.

EMS Director Mike Reynolds said the cost of education to bring an EMT up to paramedic credentials can run as high as $10,000. Currently, the county will reimburse EMTs who complete the training after they have completed the course, which puts the burden of paying for the classes on the employee. Once they are certified as paramedics, they can then ask to be reimbursed.


Reynold is asking the court to consider a pay-as-you-go reimbursement strategy for EMTS seeking to become paramedics. Paramedic training can take up to two years, and paying the training costs as they occur would serve as an incentive for existing Nelson County EMTs to upgrade their credentials.

The training costs can be a barrier for EMTs, who can’t afford the cost or wait two years for reimbursement, Reynolds said.

The court discussed the proposal but took no action.

NEW HAVEN, FAIRFIELD GARBAGE. Judge-Executive Tim Hutchins said he had been in discussions with the City of New Haven about taking over that city’s garbage collection. The move would add New Haven’s 330 garbage customers to the county’s existing garbage routes.

New Haven’s garbage collection is serviced now by Waste Management. A contract with the city of New Haven is being negotiated to allow the county to take over the city’s garbage collection.

In a related matter, Hutchins said the county has been performing garbage collection in the City of Fairfield for years, though he said he was unable to locate a contract between the county and Fairfield. The county will prepare a contract to cover garbage collection in Fairfield.

HEAVEN HILL PUD APPEAL. Nelson Fiscal Court briefly discussed a request from Cox’s Creek resident Sharron Blincoe to appeal to the Planning Commission’s November 2023 approval of an Agriculture PUD designation for a property on Old Louisville Road in Cox’s Creek by Heaven Hill Distilleries for the construction of additional distilled spirits warehouses.

The magistrates voted to table the request because a transcript of the Planning Commission hearing was not yet available for the magistrates to review. Because the court faces a 90-day window to take action on Blincoe’s appeal, Hutchins said he will schedule a special meeting before the next fiscal court meeting in order to meet the deadline to take action before the end of this month.

Blincoe did not attend the meeting.

PAY RAISES FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS. The state mandates that a number of elected officials receive cost-of-living raises based on the Consumer Price Index. This year’s increase was 3.4 percent, and automatically affected the offices of judge-executives, sheriff, jailer, and coroner salaries retroactive to January 2024.

Magistrate Adam Wheatley suggested that the magistrates not vote against giving themselves the 3.4 percent raise. Magistrate Jon Snow agreed, adding that the magistrate’s job is part-time and they shouldn’t be included in the raises, especially since its too early to determine if county employees will receive a similar raise.

The motion to approve the magistrate’s pay hike was approved in a 3-2 vote, with Magistrates Snow and Wheatley voting against the pay hike.

EMS AMBULANCE REMOUNT. The court approved allowing Nelson County EMS to shift funds around in its budget to cover the cost of an ambulance remount.

A remount is when a company takes an existing ambulance box from an old ambulance chassis and places it on a new truck chassis. Nelson County EMS has used this process to extend the life of its ambulance equipment for years.

The remount that was just completed by Shelbyville, Tenn.-based Select Tech will cost $95,314, which is significantly less than the cost of a new ambulance. The price includes the cost of a new 2024 Ford E-450 drivetrain and chassis.

SALT SPRINGS LOOP WATER. The court approved a memorandum of agreement with the LaRue County Water District to serve customers on Salt Springs Loop. The county provided $25,000 of its American Rescue Plan funds to assist with water line construction.

The line will serve 18 new customers and three underserved customers. The project also creates a loop that will improve water quality to all existing customers.

Judge Hutchins said he will continue to work to make water available to unserved areas of Nelson County.

In other business, the court:

— the court approved a resolution agreeing to pay $490,000 in local matching funds jointly with the City of Bardstown on a project that will provide utilities and road construction for a lot in the Nelson County Industrial Park.

— voted to provide $3,750 to help pay for a study to support a grant sought to expand services at the local career center office.

— declared a 2010 Ford Crown Victoria a surplus vehicle that will eventually be sold via sealed bids. The vehicle was formerly used by the EMS medical director.

— heard a report from county engineer Brad Spaling that after the recent snowy weather, the county has about 1,500 tons of salt left for the balance of the winter.

— heard Judge Hutchins report that the county should have a new planning commission director hired in the next two weeks.

— heard a report from Nelson County Clerk Jeanette Hall Sidebottom that the new system for vehicle registrations remains a work in progress. She advised renewing by mail when possible, and if coming to the office, call ahead of time to ensure they will be able to process your transaction.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Please follow and like us:

Comments are closed

Subscribe to get new posts in your email!