Monroe hired as Schoodic EMS coordinator

GOULDSBORO — Veteran first responder Ken Monroe will lead Schoodic EMS as part of a restructuring of the peninsula-wide ambulance service since former director Tate McLean’s May 16 resignation.

McLean remains Winter Harbor fire chief and since has been hired by Winter Harbor as the town’s municipal facilities and maintenance superintendent, among multiple duties.

As Schoodic EMS’s coordinator, a new salaried position, Monroe will schedule the squad’s 14 volunteer emergency medical technicians and ambulance drivers to provide 24-hour/seven-day coverage. The 12-hour shifts run 6 a.m.-6 p.m. and 6 p.m.-6 a.m. He will handle reports arising from emergency calls and responses. He will oversee the day-to-day operation and be available to respond to calls Tuesday-Saturday.

Besides Monroe, firefighter/emergency medical technician Matt Correia has been hired as a full-time employee on a per-diem (hourly) basis. Like Monroe, he will be available to respond to calls Sunday through Thursday. Having two full-time employees makes it easier to accommodate and schedule the squad’s 14 volunteers, some of whom have full-time jobs and other commitments. When an emergency call comes in, the squad is required to send two first responders (driver and technician) per run — day or night.

“Ken Monroe brings a wealth of experience to the position of EMS coordinator and is a perfect fit,” Gouldsboro Police Chief Pat McNulty said last week.

In Gouldsboro’s 2022-23 fiscal year starting July 1, Schoodic EMS will pay an hourly rate of $14 to EMTs working a 12-hour day shift. Over the weekend, Friday to Monday, volunteers will be paid flat rates to be on call at night from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Drivers will be paid $50 while EMTs and paramedics respectively will receive $75 and $100 per shift.

After the fire chief’s resignation last month, Gouldsboro Police Sgt. Adam Brackett stepped up to serve as Gouldsboro fire chief and run Schoodic EMS on an interim basis. Brackett previously worked as a firefighter/engineer for the Ellsworth Fire Department and was named that department’s 2015 Firefighter of the Year. Before joining the Ellsworth Fire Department in 2012, he worked as a firefighter in the Medway/Millinocket area.

Brackett and McNulty have worked together to restructure Schoodic EMS and finalize the department’s 2022-23 budget of $247,054 — a 43 percent jump — from $172, 054 budgeted this fiscal year.

“It gives us more of a fixed-number — budget-wise — to work with,” Brackett said of the Schoodic EMS restructuring. He says the personnel changes and adjusted hourly and shift stipends will make it easier to track and pin down the squad’s actual operating costs. “The aim is to be transparent with numbers so we know what’s coming in and what’s going out.”

In terms of revenue coming in, Schoodic EMS has been authorized by the Select Board to raise its service fees for the first time since 2018. A new fee scale has been devised. Depending on the patient’s condition, and required medical support, the cost of an ambulance run would range from $974 to $1,425. A non-emergency transport would cost $800-$1,025. A patient assessment lift assist would run $125.

Since it was started in 2018, the squad’s number of emergency calls has risen from 365 to 465 a year.

“There is going to be money coming back in, but the jury is out on how much that is going to be,” McNulty said, noting that Schoodic EMS is an essential service for Gouldsboro’s citizens, not a for-profit business.

Letitia Baldwin

Arts Editor at The Ellsworth American
In addition to editing the Arts & Leisure section, Letitia edits special sections including Out & About, Overview, Health Quarterly, Your Maine Home, House & Garden and Get Ready for Winter. She comes from Chicago, Ill, but has deep family ties to the Cranberry Isles. [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.