Interim Ambulance Director Todd Smith meeting with the Fremont County Commission at a past meeting. File photo.

(Lander, Wyo.) – The Fremont County Commission has amended Ambulance Director job offer to Texas man Joseph Zillmer.

The salary offer was amended to $63,500 following a roughly 20 minute executive session on Tuesday. The amended offer was approved 3-2, with Commission Chairman Doug Thompson and Vice Chairman Keja Whiteman voting no.

Zillmer’s acceptance into the position is still pending routine background checks. The initial offer was made last week.

Additionally, the commission approved hiring Surgeon Dr. Scott Bender as the ambulance department’s medical director. Interim Ambulance Director Todd Smith said Bender will act as the single medical director for all of Lander, Riverton and Dubois barns. He said this is a change from the former way of having two medical directors, one in Lander and one in Riverton. This, Smith said, will allow for more standardization in practices across the county.

The commission also approved moving one currently part-time EMT to a full-time position.

During last week’s meeting Smith discussed the hiring issues regarding the the department, including the Affordable Care Act requirement to provide health insurance to part-time employees working an average of no more than 24 hours per week. The actual time frame when health insurance must be provided is a matter of dispute.

Whiteman said she had concerns with the department have people work 24-hour shifts, noting she believes they might not be able to provide the best care toward the end of a shift. “There has to be a better way to do it,” she said.

There was also talk about the difficulty getting people to commit to taking the state’s EMT Basic test, which is only offered in Cheyenne.

As of last week, the department was at 41 percent of its budget, which is slightly higher than the 38 percent it was supposed to have reached by that time. Overtime costs caused the over-spending, Smith said. “My only choice is to not staff an ambulance,” he said.

Smith reiterated the need to address the fiscal deficit the department is working with right now in order to maintain the require level of service. He is pursuing a grant for a full system evaluation, but that might not be complete in time to prepare of the next budget.