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EMS ad hoc committee looks for staff input

The newly formed St. Croix EMS ad hoc committee met for the first time on Wednesday, Oct. 25. They discussed the employee surveys and adding staff to the advisory part of the committee. File photo

Staff input was a main focus of the first St. Croix EMS ad hoc committee meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 25.

The committee, made up of council members and community members, is looking to anonymously survey EMS staff this month about the current state of the service.

"We want everybody's ideas, especially the people that are working for the service because they know first hand what's going on, where the inefficiencies are," said Council Member Joyce Hall. "They're the ones that encounter the problem."

Survey questions will include what staff thinks is and isn't working with current St. Croix EMS, how the service can be improved, how the service can be made sustainable and how employees feel about the current plan in place.

A written survey will be the first step, with staff asked to reach out if they are willing to talk further in person.

"We need to build trust to make sure that all the employees feel comfortable answering questions," Hall said.

The committee also wants to use the survey to identify and work through any concerns or resentment following the discussed and downvoted sale and other changes to the service.

"I hope they open up," said committee member Paul Rode.

The results of the survey will help form work groups on specific issues, that will allow the committee to have deeper discussions.

At the suggestion from staff members present at the meeting, the committee is also looking to add one or two EMS employees to the advisory part of the committee.

"I think that's a good idea to bring some staff people on as advisory," Council Member Jim Webber said.

EMS Chief Brandon Lyksett and Operations Manager Josh Olson are currently on the advisory committee, but paramedic Joe Elkin said paramedics or EMTS could provide a different perspective.

"Management's thought process and people that work the street every day, their thought process might be different," he said.

Staff members will decide among themselves who will represent them as advisories to the committee.

As the committee continues, it will also be looking for input from the community.

The St. Croix EMS ad hoc committee will meet two times a month on Wednesday, unless conflicts occur. The public is welcome to attend. The next meeting is Thursday, Nov. 9.

Rebecca Mariscal

Rebecca Mariscal joined the Hudson Star Observer as a reporter in 2016. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in communication and journalism. 

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