Public safety building going up according to plan; Harris terminated as Pratt EMS director lead

Michael Blackford
Pratt Tribune
Visible walls are going up at the Pratt County Public Safety Building east of Pratt.

All county commissioners were present July 26 at the Pratt County Commission regular meeting to hear that construction is proceding according to schedule at the Pratt County Public Safety Building just east of town.

Rick Shriver, County Chair, reported the walls are going up and most of the steel beams and girders are standing. Shriver said the public safety building should be enclosed by October, which will allow the contractor to easily work through the winter to complete the project. Shriver also stated the LEC doors are almost completed and the jail windows should begin going in soon.

Towards the end of the meeting, the commissioners recessed for an executive session, then returned with a proposal to terminate Scott Harris from his position as Pratt County EMS Director. The commissioners voted to remove Harris but gave no public reason for the dismissal. They then held another executive session after which they offered the interim EMS Administrator position to Brian Attebery. Attebery accepted the position.

In other business, Doug Fruend, Road Department Supervisor, asked for permission to order a new grader. Fruend said that ordering now does not guarantee delivery before the end of the year but that the expense can be applied to this year’s budget. The commissioners asked if the money was already in the budget. Fruend said it is. The cost will be $321 thousand minus $40 thousand in trade for the county’s old one. The commissioners voted to allow the purchase.

Darcy Vandervyver, Health Department, reported the county COVID-19 numbers are still inching up. Vandervyver said they still have all three vaccination types and will administer to walk-ins, but they would prefer you call and schedule an appointment for Thursdays. Once a vial is opened for use, it becomes unusable the following day. Each vial is large enough for multiple shots, so people who walk in may cause some vaccine to be thrown away. Vaccines are free to you but insurance may be billed if you have health insurance. Vandervyver is helping the county find a building appropriate for a daycare center. The need for additional daycare space is a top three need within the county. Vandervyver said the health department will be installing a digital sign out front. Grant money will be used for this new sign. UPDATE: As of Monday, August 2, there are now 26 active cases of COVID-19 tested and diagnosed in the county.

Prior to his dismissal, Scott Harris, Pratt County EMS, got permission to hire a part time EMT and reported that grant money from Firehouse Subs will pay for 10 AEDs for the community. Harris proposed the county buy one Lucas Device for each of the two first response trucks at a cost of $15 thousand. The money can come from COVID-19 funds.