By DAVID GREEN
A laptop computer will soon be in the Morenci Area EMS ambulance to allow employees to work on record-keeping tasks while returning from emergency calls.
A refurbished Toughbook computer will be purchased for $909. In addition, a software package will cost $1,400 plus an annual $400 maintenance fee. The software is already used by the EMS, but the purchase will upgrade the existing software and make it available to use with the Toughbook.
Reports must be sent to the state depository, explained EMS station director Chad Corbin, and the laptop will enable work to be done while driving back to Morenci on long calls. This will lead to more timely reporting, Corbin said, and save time when back at the station.
Corbin chose the refurbished unit, with a two-year warranty, to see how well the option works for his staff. The mobile units are becoming very popular with ambulance crews, he said, and not too far far in the future, dispatches from the county office will include maps showing the location of calls via the computer.
City council members also approved hiring Brad Kirkendall of Hudson to work with the Morenci squad, at a rate of $8.90 an hour. This will help fill some of the daytime coverage hours, Corbin said.
POLICE—Council member gave police chief Michael Creswell authorization to seek bids on a new patrol vehicle to replace the 2009 Impala. Either a Ford or Chevy SUV will be purchased.
HALLOWEEN—Chief Creswell set trick-or-treating hours from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31.
HEARINGS—Following a pair of public hearings, council approved a tax abatement for Roth Fabricating and an ordinance governing the use of wind turbines.
POLL—Councilor Brenda Spiess spoke about using Facebook polling to “take the temperature of the community” before time and money is invested, such as with the proposed backyard chicken ordinance.
Using the free polling service, anyone can vote regardless of whether they are city residents. In addition, a vote can be cast once a week as long as the poll is running.
CERTIFICATES—Mayor Bill Foster presented certificates of appreciation to three Morenci Area High School juniors who organized a fund drive to support the Sarah Cool family following her recent death. Foster praised the kindness, generosity and good citizenship of Allison Nortley, Kallie Long and Megan Spencer, and noted that efforts such as theirs make Morenci a great place to live.
Mrs. Cool was a school employee and served as the junior class advisor.