McCormick addresses PKWC about ESD
Robert McCormick spoke to members of the Possum Kingdom Women’s Club at its June meeting about the Emergency Services District. McCormick is a full-time PK Lake resident and retiree whose former career was in hospital administration. He is one of five commissioners who is working on formulating a plan for EMS delivery options at Possum Kingdom Lake.
He said the Board has been working on a formal needs assessment to properly assess the situation for future needs and also to create an emergency response plan — including how the objectives will be met, the proposed organization, management structure, resource allocation, expected costs and alternative methods of reimbursement or payments to cover costs. When asked about the funding to provide the services for the area, McCormick said they have been investigating the cost structure for a contract with a third party service provider to provide emergency service. Taxation appears to be the only financing option.
“Those who own property in the district encompassing the Possum Kingdom Lake area are currently taxed 3 cents per $100 valuation and they could see an increase of up to 10 cents per $100 valuation on their tax bills,” reiterated McCormick. “The PK East area accounts for roughly 48 percent of the county’s $17.1 million budget, the increase could produce another $1 million in excess taxes. However, we must think about protecting ourselves. The bottom line is that although we have one of the best trained and best equipped EMS departments in the state, many of our volunteers are forced to work outside of the community, leaving the lake, at times, with little to no EMS coverage.”
He said although there is currently no charge for any emergency care, PK residents will be required to pay for the actual service such as the ambulance transport and applicable medications provided, and the current EMS volunteers would be classified as first-responders.
McCormick urged those women present to check into becoming members of both CareFlight or Air Evac air ambulance services, because those services could cost between $27,000 and $30,000, and to find out specifically what costs their insurance does cover in the event of an emergency.
The other four commissioners on the ESD board are Lynn Reasoner, Carolyn Land, Ricky Jones and Ryan Dunn.