CAMDEN — Camden, Hope, Lincolnville and Rockport town administrators and managers sat for an hour in the office of Audra Caler-Bell this morning, Aug. 27, discussing how to proceed with issues involving ambulance service in the four towns.
It was a productive meeting, reported Camden Town Manager Caler-Bell, with the end result agreement to more strongly enforce the existing contract with the privately owned North East Mobile Health Services, and for each town to better understand from its citizens what they want from an EMS service.
“We discussed enforcement of our current agreement,” said Caler-Bell.
Each of the towns has its individual contract with the Scarborough-based North East; Hope and Lincolnville each signed a two-year contract, while Camden and Rockport signed their own one-year contracts.
Caler-Bell said that the towns agreed to send North East Mobile Health Services a request for information concerning survey data submission, yearly reporting, patient satisfaction or complaint filings, and scheduling regular meetings with the fire chiefs and the North East division chief.
The towns also agreed to re-establish regular meetings of the four-town EMS Performance Review Committee, whose chairman is Camden Select Board member Marc Ratner.
That committee is to meet monthly and consists of two representatives from each town:
Camden, two select board members, Ratner and Taylor Benzie
Rockport, two select board members
Lincolnville, Ladleah Dunn, chairwoman of the select board, and a community member
Hope, two Select Board members
Caler-Bell said Camden hopes to schedule a public discussion about the town’s desired level of service it wants from an EMS service.
“That’s the first step, getting a better sense of what that is, and having a public conversation,” she said.
Based on feedback back, the town will then pursue examining what, “models could deliver that level of service.”
To talk with the citizens about their expectations is part of the town’s obligation to, “do our due diligence.”
The agreement with North East was built on the four towns having a common set of expectations for their level of EMS service. But, she said, do those expectations still match with each other.
“We have got to be up front on what that looks like for us all moving forward,” she said.
The Performance Review Committee is to initially spearhead the conversation about, “how do we evaluate what it is we want of an Ems service and how we get there?”
The committee’s meeting has yet to be scheduled.
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