The struggle to keep a rescue department in Wymore continues to wear on the emotions of local residents. Dr. Don Rice, Gage County medical director, notified members of the Wymore rescue department that they would become inactive after a decision by the Wymore City Council to close the department for a minimum of 45 days. The department’s closure was required because the rescue department does not have a medical director. According to Rice, the department must have at least one member to retain state licensing. Rice said Wymore City Council member Max Allen, a licensed EMT, is the lone active member on the squad allowing the squad to retain the state license.
Rice traveled to Wymore Tuesday evening to discuss the reorganization process with city officials; obtain copies of Wymore Rescue’s policies, procedures and bylaws in addition to its expenditures to help with the reorganization efforts, and move medical records from the Wymore Fire Hall to the Wymore City Hall to comply with federal Health Information Privacy Act (HIPA) guidelines.
At the fire hall Rice and other county officials were prevented from entering and retrieving the records by members of the rescue squad and fire department, including council member Dan Hawkins and rescue volunteers Mark Meints and Jerry Smith. Wymore Police Chief Bryan Davidson was called to the scene. He later said the dispute was the result of a misunderstanding. The now inactive members of the rescue and fire squads thought Rice would be taking the files home with him, which was not the case. According to Chief Davidson the records were boxed up and sealed properly before being taken to the city offices.
Wymore must find a new physician medical director or convince Rice to return to the position before it is allowed to reform. Beatrice Fire and Rescue are currently providing rescue and ambulance service in the Wymore District.