Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: May 9

Published 5:17 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2017

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Funding for emergency medical dispatch

Both Boyle County and Danville elected officials have now indicated support for funding “emergency medical dispatch services” in the coming fiscal year.

Danville has included a $300,000 line for the service in its preliminary budget; and Boyle County magistrates recently voted in favor of adding $105,000 to their budget to help cover the county’s portion of whatever the ultimate cost is.

We’ve noted previously that Boyle County is behind the curve on this service. While other area 911 dispatch centers provide guidance and instructions to callers in medical emergency situations, Boyle County dispatch is much more limited.

According to Dr. Eric Guerrant, dispatchers currently gather the basic information about a medical emergency, give that information to first responders and then the call ends. Unless someone at the scene calls back with an update, nothing more is learned about the situation until first responders arrive. And people at the scene may not be able to assist the person having an emergency unless they already have some medical training.

Emergency medical dispatch (EMD) makes it possible for a dedicated dispatcher to stay on the line and guide callers through any medical steps that may assist in saving a life, like CPR.

Leaders now know they have the support of elected officials to move forward with EMD. Now, we need to firm up the figures for what it will cost, so the officials can put the right amounts in the budgets they’re working to finalize and there won’t be any surprise costs later in the year.

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P&Z, city, county finding consensus

Speaking of governments working well together … 

There have been multiple heated meetings and hot comments made about the Danville-Boyle County Planning and Zoning Commission in recent months. P&Z officials and the elected bodies of Danville and Boyle County have been at odds over the process of hiring a new P&Z director and the P&Z office’s practice of closing on Fridays.

But it seems someone has turned the burner down and the pot is no longer boiling. Members of the P&Z Commission still believe there’s no need to be open on Fridays, but the commission is willing to go along with the city’s and county’s desires — if those bodies fund the salaries for an extra day a week (roughly estimated at $25,000 annually).

Elected officials fumed earlier in the year when P&Z began looking for a new director without involving them directly. P&Z stated it did not believe allowing officials to sit in on the private meetings of its Personnel Committee would be appropriate, or perhaps even legally allowed. We haven’t yet seen evidence presented to counter that argument, so it may be that the elected officials have accepted P&Z’s stance. But the whole issue may go away at this point anyway, since the next director has now been selected.

We’re not saying that government leaders should never fight — if they didn’t, we would rightly suspect that something was up behind closed doors. But fights should always be able to be resolved using facts and reasoned arguments. That’s hopefully what’s happening here.

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Danville’s Community Work Transition Program

Danville High School has a great program for special education students, which we had a story about last week: the Community Work Transition Program.

The program helps special education students make themselves more employable by helping them get experience, training and soft skills.

Students practice their job interviewing; learn about good hygiene and appearance; volunteer around the community, including at places like Grace Café; and more.

The program is a partnership between local schools, KDE’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and UK’s Human Development Institute. Special ed students in their last two years of high school can participate.

Right now, eight of the program’s 10 spots are filled. That’s eight students who might otherwise be at a disadvantage to find a good paying job, but instead, they’ll be ready. We wish the students good luck in their future careers and we hope to see the Community Work Transition Program continue for many years.