There are several areas in Audrain County that are not in the Audrain Ambulance District and some residents in those areas are unaware of it.
Kevin Cash, administrator for the Audrain Ambulance District, said parts of Thompson, Centralia and Sturgeon are not members of any ambulance district.
Anyone who lives in Audrain, who does not belong to the Mexico School District, on the west side of the county is effected. Cash said school districts which overlap Audrain are Sturgeon, North Callaway, Paris and Centralia.
Boone and Audrain counties have an agreement to help provide service to those not in a district. Both Boone and Audrain get called and it comes down to what district responds first, then the other district returns back.
"Something has to be done," Cash said. "Taxpayers need to be covered," he added.
Cash said he has knocked on people's doors to talk to them and most of them are unaware they are not in an ambulance district and they don't understand why. "Since they live in Audrain, they believe they belong to the Audrain Ambulance District," he said. Cash said he is available to talk to anyone who wants more information.
He is sending out information in the mail and said he is willing to have a meeting with the residents.
Cash said they have a minimum of 200 calls a year from non-district residents. He said the district also charges an extra $100 to non-district patients. It is not covered by insurance and comes out of the pocket of the patient.
Cash said there are three options for the residents not in the Audrain Ambulance District.
They can start their own district, with volunteers and contacting the state bureau.
The second option is to get a petition signed by registered voters to be put on the April ballot. According to the Audrain County Clerk's office for a measure to be placed on the ballot for the April 3, 2018 election, it will have to be turned in by December 10, 2017. Also, the number of signatures is a percentage of registered voters in the area involved. The issue will be placed on Audrain ballot only.
The third option is to join Centralia Medic 131.
The Audrain Ambulance District receives 10 cents on $100 property taxes. Cash said this will not change if the non-district area joins the Audrain District. Also, tax payers already in the district could vote against it.
Community R-6 School District was in the same situation a few years ago and in 2012 voted to join the Audrain Ambulance District. A new building with two bays will be built on Highway 54 approximately 1.5 miles west of Scott's Corner with construction to begin soon.
Cash said a similar building would have to be built in the future near Sturgeon if residents join the Audrain district.
Cash said he is not pushing residents to join his district, he just wants everyone to be covered.
Anyone who wants more information can contact the district through its web page at www.audrainambulance.com, or on Facebook at Audrain Ambulance District.