Emergency agencies look to add PR push

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By Thomas Barr

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - When an emergency strikes, Bullitt County agencies have shown that despite any differences, they can - and will - pull together.

But Fox Chase resident Sandy Higgin isn’t sure the general public knows what resources are available for when disasters strike.

Higgin spoke during the monthly Emergency Services committee meeting, of which she is a member.

Mike Phillips, who directs Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Management Agency and Central Dispatch, agreed that the group has not gotten out to promote itself as it should.

“All agencies work well together,” said Phillips. 

Knowing that the medical part of the agency is a major financial drain on the general fund, Phillips said he hasn’t tried to spend funds on a public relations campaign.

Instead, he has focused on trying to eliminate waste as much as possible.

Phillips agreed that people are not aware of the services provided by the county and they are not always aware of what actions to follow in case an emergency arises.

The biggest problem in a disaster is dealing with the vast amounts of donations the agency receives. Phillips does have an agreement with distribution places in Shepherdsville to allow for the storage of goods during an emergency.

Higgin said one of the problems with keeping trained staff members is the low pay being offered.

Phillips said he has never gone into a budget meeting asking for more in salaries. And he would never threaten to leave the county for another job by using his pay as a reason.

In staffing, Phillips said pay is an issue. But he understands money is not available.

In other commission business:

*Phillips said work is progressing on getting all the EMS/EMA vehicles with the proper markings.

Also, with the help of Zoneton Fire District, Phillips said photo ID badges will be made in the next month or so.

*An ambulance will be marked in pink in honor of breast cancer awareness month.

Dale Mulhull of Amazing Signs is assisting with the signage.

*Phillips said he would repost his memo on letting the ambulances sit out and idle for the entire day. Committee chair Joe Laswell said he was told of possible engine damage if they are let to idea.