Tim Dorsey, Lake Ozark Chief of EMS, says the district just completed the hiring of six new personnel.
In August, Lake Ozark Fire Protection District was able to gain voter support towards a levy increase of 30 cents. This increase was requested to hire personnel and to acquire a new ambulance for the Lake Ozark Station. At the time of the ballot request, Lake Ozark Fire Chief Mark Amsinger said the plan was to have the additional ambulance on the road within the next year. This would allow the district to run three ambulances within the 42 square miles.
Tim Dorsey, Lake Ozark Chief of EMS, says the district just completed the hiring of six new personnel and are expected to bring on two more paramedics in the immediate future who will not be funded through the levy increase. He says the district is also in full pursuit of the new ambulance that they had previously mentioned, stating that their current goal is to have the ambulance in station by summer.
Dorsey says the six new hired members are all certified firefighters and EMTs, giving the district flexibility in where they will be able to station them during shifts. In order to acclimate the new members with the way Lake Ozark runs their operations, board members are hosting an in-house training session for four weeks to go over equipments use, scenario based knowledge and more.
“It’s important for them to understand the nuances of working here, because we might use equipment X while Mid-County uses equipment Y and wherever they came from may have used equipment Z,” Dorsey said. “This gets them indoctrinated to their new station.”
The training began on Jan. 7 and will go for four weeks. Following this training, they will begin working in sets of two on 48-hour shifts. They will also be shifting from each of the three stations within the district to become more comfortable with the surrounding areas covered by each. These stations are found on Horseshoe Bend, Bagnell Dam Blvd. and on the north shore.
When the new ambulance is officially acquired by the district, it will be housed at Station 1, allowing each of the Lake Ozark stations to have an ambulance on site. Dorsey says they have been using money raised 18 years ago to fund current ambulance costs. By increase and upgrading their fleet, he says it will allow the district to modernize their equipment.
“We want to be able to provide the most up-to-date and advanced equipment and care to the taxpayers that we can,” Dorsey said.
Dorsey says that, more than anything, he wants to share the district’s appreciation to the community members who helped pass the levy increase. He says that this will allow them to continue provided top tier service to the area without financial restraints. By hiring new members that are certified in both firefighter and EMT training, LOFPD will be able to accomplish more services at the scene of an accident with fewer personnel.
“We needed to justify our needs and show the public why this increase was needed. I think we accomplished that,” Dorsey said.