New Rockford Transcript - Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

New Rockford ambulance contracts with Bismarck company to fill vacancy


December 3, 2018

Ken Rensch and Joelle Muckle of Ambulance Resources, LLC, two of the paramedics who will take 72-hour shifts managing Community Ambulance Service of New Rockford as part of their contract.

There are new faces at the Community Ambulance Service of New Rockford (CASNR), and there maybe more in the future. At the beginning of November, the CASNR board of directors was faced with filling another opening with the resignation from Tim Schmeets, who had served as the manager for little over a year.

CASNR President Sandy O'Connor knew Ken Rensch, owner and operator of Ambulance Resources, LLC, an ambulance management company based in Bismarck, N.D. that assists rural ambulance services, and reached out to him. Upon reviewing a proposal from Rensch, the CASNR board decided to hire his company on a 60-day trial basis, with consideration of a long-term agreement at the end of the trial period.

This contract with Ambulance Resources, LLC provides management and staffing. Right now, Rensch himself is on duty here in New Rockford, and residents may have seen his royal blue pickup in town and at the ambulance hall. He arrived Monday, Nov. 26, and was on duty continuously from 6 p.m. Monday to 6 p.m. Thursday, serving as a paramedic and manager. O'Connor said other staff members from Ambulance Resources can and will come during the trial period to fill the 72-hour per week contracted time requested by CASNR. All staff on duty locally are employees of CASNR, so they will wear CASNR gear and operate their equipment.

O'Connor said she is hopeful that this new arrangement will work for CASNR. She noted that there are other services Ambulance Resources offers that are attractive to the local agency.

In speaking with Rensch, "The Transcript" learned abit more about the qualifications and vision that Rensch brings to CASNR. He first began his career in emergency medical services in 1997, while still in high school. From then until 2004, he served as a first responder with the local fire department. At that point he went to paramedic school at the Creighton University in Omaha, Neb where they offer specialized EMS education. In fact, Creighton is were he sends all his paramedics.

The results in a large staff with a range of personnel including Paramedics, RN's, Critical Care Paramedics and EMT's. The vast majority of the paramedics are certified in critical and flight care. Ambulance Resource LLC have experience working with rural community ambulance services. Since 2012, they have contracted with both Parshall and Stanley to manage staff, provide ongoing training and offer accounting services.

It is common in a rural state like North Dakota to see traveling, or "locum" medical professionals serving in various capacities at hospitals, clinics and long-term care facilities. In fact, CHI St. Alexius Health Carrington and Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd both use these services to fill shifts when they are short staff. O'Connor said she sees services like Ambulance Resources, which is currently the only one of its kind in North Dakota, to become more widely used for EMS staffing as well.

One benefit Ambulance Resources has offered smaller communities is the opportunity to pool resources. Rensch explained that when state and federal requirements changed for patient care reporting, the smaller community services found it hard to justify nearly $4,000 for software reporting subscriptions. His company has offered these communities, including New Rockford, an opportunity to bundle their subscription for a cost of $8 per record, making the process much more affordable.

Having Ambulance Resource staff in New Rockford also brings additional technology. As the paramedics are training and certified in critical care, they bring with them equipment previously not in use by CASNR such as ventilators, IV pumps and certain medications.

Rensch also looks to the future of technology in emergency medical services and is working towards the acquisition of portable ultrasound and lab. The ultrasound can be used to assess trauma victims and identify internal bleeding. The lab will enable first responders to detect cardiac markers, electrolyte levels, or if a patient is experiencing sepsis and provide treatment more efficiently.


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