Committee recommends Ruston EMS on 7-3 vote

The Lincoln Parish Police Jury Ambulance Committee this morning voted 7 to 3 to recommend to the jury that the Ruston EMS be the ambulance and rescue provider for the part of Lincoln Parish outside Ruston city limits.

On a motion by Choudrant Mayor Bill Sanderson, and a second by Lincoln Parish Deputy Sheriff Mike Rainwater, the motion was stated thus: “We recommend to the Lincoln Parish Police Jury that we enter into a contract with the City of Ruston for rescue and EMS services,” Sanderson said.

He added, “according to their proposal.”

Voting yes were Sanderson, Dubach Mayor Mona Wilson, Dr. Jackie White, Downsville Mayor Reggie Skains, Rainwater, Police Juror Milton Melton, and Grambling Police Chief Tommy Clark.

The no votes were Committee Chair Charlie Edwards, Police Jury President Richard Durrett, and Simsboro’s Steven Yeich.

Lincoln Parish Fire Protection District No. 1 board chair Richard Aillet abstained.

Annette Straughter (LPPJ) and Walter Carpenter (Vienna Mayor) were absent.

The vote followed a failed motion by Melton, with a second by Yeich to send all the proposals to the jury without a recommendation.

“The three proposals be submitted to the Lincoln Parish Police Jury for review and take action – namely The City of Ruston, Pafford, and Lincoln Parish Fire Protection District No. 1,” he moved

That vote was the exact reverse of the winning motion. Voting yes were Edwards, Durrett and Yeich, with the rest voting no. Aillet abstained.

Several comments were made, including Lincoln Parish Sheriff Stephen Williams.

Said Williams, “What you’re asking (Fire District) Chief Reynolds to do, you’re setting him up for failure. I think you should take the five year contract with the city, and in the meantime figure out how you can get some more money funneled to your fire department and rescue and build them up. You’re putting our citizens at risk, and I just can’t sit back and be quiet about that anymore.

Reynolds had earlier in the meeting presented the committee with a proposal for outfitting the parish department with the personnel and equipment to do rescue operations.

He proposed adding 6 men full time and trucks and equipment. Operating costs were listed at about $475 to $500 thousand/year over five years, with equipment costs of $800 thousand spread out over four years.

See here the proposal.

The final decision on what proposal to accept and how to fund it all will be made by the police jury.

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31 Responses to “Committee recommends Ruston EMS on 7-3 vote”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    It was obvious the fix was in with Charlie Edwards (who wasn’t fit to be the Chairman) being the shill for police jurors Durrett and Melton (who created this whole mess by withholding the $120k offer from the full jury). Well, 7-3 (2 absent, 1 abstention) showed them. Now, let’s see what tricks they try to pull to get around the official recommendation at the Police Jury meeting. I hope the room is packed and the people are heard.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    “The final decision on what proposal to accept and how to fund it all will be made by the police jury.”

    So what’s basically being said after all these committee meetings and recommendation is that the police jury will choose Pafford. Got it.

    • curiouscitizenkane Says:

      The good news is that the Jury vote will be the true litmus test for the quality of human beings that it is composed of. No Juror has any logical reason whatsoever to vote for a more expensive (long-term) and likely less efficient service than is currently being provided by Ruston now. If they do choose one of the alternatives at this point, in the face of the Committee’s recommendation, it will be due to no other reason than stubborn foolishness, blatant arrogance, and an incomprehensible ignorance of what is good for the people of Lincoln Parish. I believe, deep down, that our Jurors are better than that. The best-case scenario at this point is that the Jury hands down a unanimous vote in favor of the Committee’s recommendation, if for no other reason than a final show of solidarity and the putting aside of personal feeling to show full support of all parties working together in peace again.

      Please let this happen. There have been many mistakes made up to this point – from all parties involved – but it is never too late to lay pride aside and resolve to work together for the greater good. At the end of the day, everyone is on the same team. Let us remember our ultimate goal here: to take care of each other and make sure that all residents of our Parish are protected in the best way possible.

  3. Common+Sense Says:

    Lincoln Parish paid $30,000/year for years (decades) for service that we are not going to pay close to $500,000. We had it good for a long time. Is that a fair price? If you compare it to the $30K, no its outrageous. If you compare it to the 1 million for Pafford/LPFD, yes it is great. Given that not having a parish wide ambulance/rescue service is not an option this seems like an easy choice.

    Now for the next big question. How are they going to pay for it? To me the obvious answer is they are going to raise taxes or fees. Somehow they are going to make us pay more, even though we pay some of the highest taxes in the country. I will not support an increase in taxes/fees.

    • Anonymous Says:

      This entire fiasco was caused by the Ruston blackmail attempt: pay us or we’re withholding ambulance and rescue service from the rural areas of Lincoln parish.
      The amount of money demanded seems to far exceed the incremental cost of Ruston’s (already existing) providing service to the rural areas.
      Ruston is billing insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid for these services, above and beyond the annual payment of $30,000 by the Police Jury. Records of the City’s annual audit as well as recent years’ budgets clearly show the ambulance and rescue services are operating very near the break-even point financially. Any losses incurred because of providing rural service could be determined easily, can be verified by financial records, and could be resolved by the Police Jury, but the City seems determined to profit, some claim to provide cash to support losses in operating the new ball field south of town. Again, provable via City budgets and audits, all public record (and available to the Leader, should they decide to perform an independent analysis to either confirm or deny claims being made by both parties).
      I point out the obvious: if ambulance and rescue services are withheld from rural areas, a Ruston resident who happens to need these services outside the City limits, will not be served. Meanwhile, an illegal alien inside the City with the same need will be served, as will any person who is visiting or just passing through. Just as anyone visiting or passing through any area would assume they will receive aid and service if they find themselves in need. I find the threat to withhold service somewhat despicable and of no real benefit to the City.
      Claims that rural residents are receiving services for which they do not contribute, ignores several truths which spoil the arguments the City may make against such service: rural residents spend a great portion, likely most, of their disposable income, in Ruston, because that is where almost all the retail businesses and restaurants are located. They pay the same sales taxes as Ruston residents, the only exception I can think of being sales tax on vehicles. Their spending at Ruston’s business helps these businesses pay their ad valorem taxes just like the spending of Ruston residents.
      Services received by rural residents are billed: insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid, just like Ruston residents. The City as well as (their mouthpiece?) the Leader have not pointed this out, and have not provided factual numbers as to the amount of billing and have not compared billing collected vs. costs incurred.
      People do not have all the facts they need to make an informed decision.
      As it stands: City says pay us what we want, or no service. Police Jury resists, feeling blackmailed, and looks for some sort of solution to a problem they did not create. Ruston Daily Leader makes fun of the Police Jurors because they cannot seem to find an easy, no-cost answer yo a problem they did not create while seeming to think the City administration can do no wrong. RDL provides no analysis of the readily available numbers; I suppose they write uninformative articles just to sell papers. That’s disappointing.

      • YY Says:

        “The amount of money demanded seems to far exceed the incremental cost of Ruston’s (already existing) providing service to the rural areas.”

        Ok then you should also fuss at Pafford and LPFD who are demanding much more. Or Acadian who said it’s not even worth it to make a bid.

        “Ruston is billing insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid for these services, above and beyond the annual payment of $30,000 by the Police Jury. Records of the City’s annual audit as well as recent years’ budgets clearly show the ambulance and rescue services are operating very near the break-even point financially. Any losses incurred because of providing rural service could be determined easily, can be verified by financial records, and could be resolved by the Police Jury, but the City seems determined to profit, some claim to provide cash to support losses in operating the new ball field south of town. Again, provable via City budgets and audits, all public record (and available to the Leader, should they decide to perform an independent analysis to either confirm or deny claims being made by both parties).”

        Insurance doesn’t matter and as said in the meeting typically pays a few hundred dollars. Ruston taxpayers are on the hook for over $1 million, parish for $30k, something wrong with that. Both city and parish residents have their insurance billed. Break even point doesn’t matter, RFD chief wants to hire more people, you purposely always leave that out. He cannot run city and parish with the amount of FFs they have. As far as cash for ballpark that’s just an accusation you are making with no proof and legally the money for a fact from EP bills has to go to fire dept. Bottom line, past budgets don’t matter, RFD wants 6 more people, 2 per shift and another ambulance to help cover parish and not lose half their manpower to parish while leaving Ruston citizens (who are footing vast majority of the bill) exposed.

        “As it stands: City says pay us what we want, or no service. Police Jury resists, feeling blackmailed, and looks for some sort of solution to a problem they did not create.”

        City offered 120k, blame Mr. Durrett on that. LPPJ leaders shouldn’t have played games with the city.

  4. YY Says:

    This isn’t complicated on why RFD wants more money, been explained too many times. I don’t remember exactly but RFD budget is approximately 1.25 million dollars a year, that’s what city taxpayers have to pay. 40% or 2,000 calls a year go out to the parish, that’s 2,000 times year Ruston citizens are left “exposed” while their FFs are out in the parish. Parish pays $30k. Sorry, parish has been getting away with theft for decades and that’s unfair to Ruston FFs and Ruston residents.

    At some point the chief had to make a decision. If they are going to continue to cover parish, they need more FFs to send out while still being able to have enough in Ruston city limits.

    Obviously, they aren’t asking too much once LPFD and Pafford got involved and gave their bids, which is a good bit more than what RFD gave. Having rescue and ambulance care is expensive, apparently even more so to the departments providing the services. People aren’t gonna do that line of work for free, and equipment is ridiculously expensive from what I’ve learned. As far as how to pay for it, that’s not Paffords, RFDs, or LPFDs problem, that’s the people who run the parishes problem. The “leaders” had 1.5 years to get this figured out. Ruston figured it out, parish needs to also.

    • YY Says:

      I’ll add, I realize there are volunteers that do that for free. Typically they aren’t making 5,000 calls a year and riding an ambulance. Nobody in their right mind would do that for free, just to clarify. At least older folks with families. Going out to a few fires or wrecks a year as a volunteer is much different than being hammered on the ambulance every day and night.

    • YY Says:

      One last thing, Charlie and some of them keep bragging about LPFD has volunteers that are very well trained and I’m sure that’s true. What happens when those volunteers are at work and out of town? Just because you have a volunteer that has lots of rescue experience is irrelevant when it comes to you being the sole provider of that service. That volunteer may be unable to come, you can’t count on that. 2-300 wrecks out in the parish is quite a bit, especially with an interstate where they can be deadly. You need to know every single time you are going to have well trained people out there, and preferably multiple well trained people. If your fantastic rescue FF is on shift at Shreveport, Ruston, Dallas, or New York City lol, it’s all moot.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Well, if a Ruston resident piles up outside the City limits, you aren’t coming. What quality of service do you call that?

        • Anonymous Says:

          “Well, if a Ruston resident piles up outside the City limits, you aren’t coming. What quality of service do you call that?”

          I’m not responding anywhere. RFD has already stated they will come regardless if called.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Foolish mortal, you are claiming Ruston taxpayers pay the $1.25 million while ignoring the large proportion of the costs that are recouped via billing of Medicare, Medicaid, and individuals’ private insurance. Get it right al least.

      • Anonymous Says:

        “Foolish mortal”

        Now do tax dollars. Compare tax dollars between what LP and Ruston pays. That’s what really matters.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    LPFD needs time to get their situation under control. They can hire more people and train them up, then take over rescue for outside city limits. It’s easy to pick and choose what you respond to as a 2nd or backup rescue service when the eyes aren’t on you as LPFD has been doing according to them. When you are the only option on that scene, and everyone is looking at you it’s a whole new ballgame. They need to be able to cover rescue while at the same time also be able to respond to fires. No doubt the folks on shift are qualified, but 2 people isn’t going to cut it. They can get there, unfair to ask them to be there by January though.

    • Anonymous Says:

      It “cuts it” a lot better than Ruston when the refuse to come at all. That’s what eon’t cut it.

      • Anonymous Says:

        “It “cuts it” a lot better than Ruston when the refuse to come at all. That’s what eon’t cut it.”

        Hopefully you aren’t Mr. Abbot or a police juror, which I’m positive you are. Making lies up is pathetic, you know good and well if LPFD can’t respond, Ruston is, been stated over and over by all parties involved.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Let me get this straight:

    1. Ruston was paid $30k for decades (since 1991?). That was the deal of the century!

    2. Ruston asked for a more-than-reasonable increase to $120k. That still would have been an incredible deal.

    3. Durrett and Melton withheld the offer from the full jury and haven’t given a reason for why!!!

    4. When asked (begged?) to return to the table by the full jury after realizing they were duped by Durrett and Melton, Ruston asked for the actual cost of service (over $600k).

    5. The only other offer is around $1M for the fire district (where Durrett is on the board, is that right!?) and Pafford.

    So tell me again how Ruston is holding Lincoln Parish hostage?

    • Rick Godley Says:

      Someone asked me if this constitutes Malfeasance. I had to look it up, all I know was Malware. mal·fea·sance
      [ˌmalˈfēzəns]
      NOUN
      law
      wrongdoing, especially by a public official.
      synonyms:
      deceit · deception · duplicity · lying · falseness · falsity · falsehood · untruthfulness · fraud · fraudulence · sharp practice · cheating · chicanery · craft · cunning · trickery · artifice · artfulness · wiliness · guile · double-dealing · [more]

      • Anonymous Says:

        All of which has been happening for quite some time. And it’s not just one or two of the jurors. People are weary. The question is whether they’ll take action in the next election.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    To the drunk man who keeps yelling about insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid. Half of the people ambulances see have no insurance whatsoever. Medicaid and Medicare pay a few 100 dollars if they pay at all, many times they don’t pay anything. Half the people billed never pay that bill. That’s why by ems services like Ruston, Pafford, Acadian charge cities and parishes to run ems, they need a guaranteed income. Man who yells about insurance wants medics to work on minimum wage, ragged ambulances, and no equipment. People are smart enough not to do that anymore. Man who screams at Ruston and yells about insurance can start his own ambulance service and do as he pleases

    • Anonymous Says:

      Paperwork is all public record; go through, analyze, and use facts to prove your case.
      Name calling is the weapon of choice for fools…

      • Anonymous Says:

        Can you cite your source with a link? I’ve seen insurance billed and payments billed. What was actually collected by the city? Also, what does that have to do with city needing more money to hire more people to keep running the parish? I know you’ll refuse to answer my last question as you always have.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🍿🥤

  9. Rick Godley Says:

    By the way kudos to Milton for changing his vote to a wise one and kudos to Stephen Williams for stepping up and speaking up. Kudos to all who spoke up and spoke out for the community.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Didn’t Melton make the motion for the committee NOT to give the full jury a recommendation? He gets no sympathy from me. Also, the $500k+ difference between the two Ruston proposals should be paid by him and Durrett since they were the sole cause. Don’t ask for a penny from me in taxes because I’ll vote NO!

      • Rick Godley Says:

        Yes he did make that motion. If you watch closely, from a prepared script. But after that was both voiced down and voted down. He changed his vote and went with the wise choice. That’s all I’m saying.

        • Anonymous Says:

          no slight to you (and thank you for the video and public comments!)…i just think he realized he was a rat on a sinking ship…there is no courage in that

          • Rick Godley Says:

            Agree, but I’ll let him have a slice of nobility cheese for doing what he did. Yeah, the streaming thing seems to be must see tv, locally. That’s all I care about these days and at this phase in my life. You re most welcome.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    How awesome it would be for everyone involved to be cognizant of the fact that “We’re all in this together.” “Let’s take care of our people.” But no. We have to have all this posturing and inter-governmental department infighting. But I guess it’s human nature. Gotta get what’s good for me, ya know?

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