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Commissioners Support Request For Ambulance

Roosevelt County commissioners agreed to provide a letter of support for Roosevelt Memorial Hospital in Culbertson for the purpose of purchasing a new ambulance.

Commissioners say hospital officials are seeking a grant for the purchase. The letter notes that the department’s current limited ambulance resources provide a challenge to adequately respond to mass casualty events.

The letter from the commissioners reads, “Living in a rural, frontier area makes it vital to have the equipment necessary to manage incidents within our area as assistance from neighboring services are nearly 40 miles away. While small, our community has seen numerous multi-car accidents and train derailments, including an Amtrak derailment that called for the use of multiple ambulances for treatment and transport. These incidents leave other areas within our community vulnerable when all assets are tied up at one incident. Access to adequate life-saving services is vital to the sustainability of our frontier communities and that is why we fully support their request for an ambulance.”

During the meeting on Thursday, June 15, commissioners also considered the road department’s request to purchase a used 2014 John Deere 2010GLC excavator for $123,300.

Because the cost is more than $80,000, commissioner Gordon Oelkers noted the intent must be published in the newspaper twice.

Commissioner Gary Macdonald opposed the purchase because he feels it’s too expensive considering how little the county will need the equipment.

Commissioner Robert Toavs said the equipment will be beneficial when demolition work needs to be done in Wolf Point, Poplar or Culbertson. Oelkers said he knows of two instances where the county needed to get the equipment from others in order to handle the project.

Macdonald argued that the equipment can be rented from a company in Glasgow if needed. The motion passed by a 2-1 margin with Macdonald voting against. Oelkers said he felt comfortable voting in favor because the motion is only to put it out for bids and not making a buying decision.

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