Wright County commissioners honor emergency medical service workers

When Wright County Commissioner Christine Husom petitioned a resolution to the April 16 board agenda honoring emergency medical services teams, she had no idea at the time that the flags at the county courthouse on April 16 would be at half-mast in light of the bombing at the Boston Marathon.
Husom said that the tragedies brought to light exactly the concerns that she was hoping to highlight with the resolution.
“I felt it was important to get the word out what these people do ,” Husom said. “There are people from different walks of life that prepare for potentially tragic events and most of us are unaware that these people are out there. They don’t all wear uniforms that identify themselves for what they do, but their role in a tragic event is extremely important.”
The resolution proclaimed May 19-23 as Emergency Medical Services Week in Wright County and is intended to honor the emergency physicians nurse, medical technicians paramedics, firefighters, educators and administrators who make up emergency medical teams that are first responders at the time of a tragedy. Husom said their role, such as those who mobilized in Boston April 15 after almost 200 people were injured in the bomb blasts that rocked the annual Boston Marathon event.
“These people are constantly training for these types of events that you hope never happen, but need to be prepared for if they do,” Husom said. “It’s amazing how many different entities have emergency preparedness training to be ready in the event that a tragedy strikes. You can’t ever fully prepare for a senseless tragedy like we saw in Boston because our logical brains have a hard time processing it. That’s why you train so, in the event of a tragedy, you respond to what you’ve been trained to do and you rely on that training. It’s wonderful to have those people out there protecting us in the event a situation like that would strike here in Wright County.”
The board unanimously approved the resolution.
In other items on the April 16 agenda, the board:
• Approved a series of bids received for seasonal requirements of the highway department. The bids included rental quotes for machinery and equipment, as well as bidding for some highway-related projects. In a competitive bidding process, Knife River Corp. was awarded the 2013 overlay contract for $2.51 million, which came almost $400,000 under budgeted estimate, as well as the CSAH 75 pavement preservation project – a contract for $4.09 million that came in more than $500,000 under estimates.
• Approved a contract with RtVision to purchase software that will automate and streamline the process of employees taking time off. The program complements the county’s on-line time card program. The software would replace the manual tracking of time off requests and quicken the process of informing department heads when employees will be taking time or using sick days.
• Set a building committee of the whole meeting for 10:30 a.m. following the April 23 board meeting to tour the old county jail. A walk-through of the jail was scheduled with the county’s building inspector and, after a couple of commissioners not on the building committee expressed an interest in following along during the walk-through/inspection, the board had to convene it as a committee meeting. Under the rules of county board protocol, if more than two commissioners are at a meeting, it must be announced in advance that the meeting will be a committee meeting open to the public.
• Set a transportation committee of the whole meeting for 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 14 at the Public Works Building. Among the topics to be discussed are selecting a Wright County representative to serve on the I-94 coalition board, discuss updating highway department policies pertaining to mailboxes and sign maintenance, discuss using the county website as the “official newspaper” for purposes of legal notices and setting a date and time for the annual spring road tour with the county commissioners.

Freelancer John Holler covers government and the Wright County Board of Commissioners.