KEYSER - The beginning of a newly organized county ambulance authority was developed June 12 during the Mineral County Commission meeting when commissioner Richard Lechliter made the motion to rescind a previous motion to abolish the ambulance authority and proceed with restructuring plans.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - The beginning of a newly organized county ambulance authority was developed June 12 during the Mineral County Commission meeting when commissioner Richard Lechliter made the motion to rescind a previous motion to abolish the ambulance authority and proceed with restructuring plans.
The motion received a unanimous vote among the three commissioners.
During the May 22 meeting of the county commission, a motion to make changes to the ambulance authority was passed, and one of the items included in the change would have been a reduction of members on the authority.
The rescinded motion would allow for seven members and presently there are 11 members for the ambulance authority.
This motion drew comments from many members of the Ambulance Authority, and particularly centered around the fact that not all nine EMS squads would have any representation on the authority.
During the late May meeting, members of the county’s EMS squads said that they would do what it took “to protect our citizens.”
Commissioner Roger Leatherman, the county representative to the Mineral County Ambulance Authority, reported on the Tuesday evening meeting of that agency.
“It was a good meeting, and all conversation was positive,” he said, noting that members focused on two main points.
Leatherman said a committee was formed to investigate a contract proposal between the county and the EMS squad for $1 a year.
Chad Lindsey will head up this committee and the second focus will be on vehicle insurance for the ambulances now in service in the county.
Leatherman said the insurance is due in July, giving time for “this committee to discuss” how best to have the ambulances covered with insurance.
He said that at the present the insurance company will cover only 75 percent of the damage “and if an ambulance wrecks, there would a loss of money in the deal.”
Saying the premium cost of the present insurance is high, Leatherman said an option for the committee is to “seek other insurance providers.”
Also during the meeting, three Ambulance Authority officers were elected, and they are: Steve Rexrode, president; Lauren Trenter, vice president; and Heather Shapiro, secretary.
Leatherman said about the election results, “They are good choices.”
Another subject discussed during the meeting was the selection of the nine EMS squads’ representation to the Mineral County Ambulance Authority.
Leatherman said many of the emergency squads have items in their by-laws giving rules on whom may be appointed to the ambulance authority.
He suggested to the authority members to “submit two or three names” to the county commission from each of the nine squads.
Leatherman said an EMS member from the Elk Garden Ambulance stated during the meeting that the mountain top squad has few members. He then asked that the Elk Garden group come up with two names for selection to the Ambulance Authority.
He also stated about the selection of members, “In my opinion, this is fair.”
Among the 11 members of the ambulance authority, Leatherman said nine will be from the EMS squads, one will be from the medical field, and one will be termed a member-at-large.
Leatherman said that the main reason for membership on the ambulance authority is to “serve the people of Mineral County.”
Several letters for appointment to the ambulance authority were recently received by the Mineral County Commission, and those are Susie Matlick, Steve Rexrode, Gary Sargent, and Vallie Fisher.
The approval for the appointments of Ambulance Authority members will likely take place at the June 26 meeting of the county commission.