Crothersville Community School Corp. will be able to start a wellness clinic for students, while the Crothersville-Vernon Township Volunteer Fire Department will have money to put toward a high-pressure breathing air cascade system.
Each recently received $2,500 from Aisin Chemical Indiana LLC in Crothersville in celebration of the firm’s 10-year anniversary and grand opening of Plant 2.
Terry Goodin, superintendent of Crothersville schools, said the money will go toward paying for materials, advertising and marketing for the clinic.
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“We’ve got to bring (parents) in and give them the whole scenario. People can opt in or opt out, so there’s a long, lengthy process to try to get the knowledge part out to folks so they’ll know exactly what it is,” he said.
The Indiana Rural Health Association is opening a pilot school-based telehealth clinic at Elwood Community Schools in early September and then will implement it at five other districts, including Crothersville. The goal is to offer the Indiana Rural School Clinic Network at other schools around the state and possibly in communities.
Crothersville is partnering with Austin and Southwestern Jefferson County schools to share expenses. Also involved in the program are Parke and Vermillion county schools.
“We’ve got a partnership that’s going to allow the cost savings for the school corporations to be captured by the providers through their health insurance and through the state of Indiana through HIP 2.0 or Medicaid,” Goodin said of Crothersville, Austin and Southwestern Jefferson County.
The plan is to start the program at Crothersville in January.
“There are going to be kinks. There are going to be things happen,” Goodin said. “But we’re anxious to get it rolling to give people the opportunity to get well and be well and stay well.”
The school now has a nurse provided by the Jackson County Health Department once a week. The new program will have a nurse practitioner available five days a week.
Students who feel ill at school will visit the nurse practitioner for a quick diagnosis. If it’s determined that the student needs to see a doctor, a virtual visit can be set up on-site, and parents are contacted to see if they want to join in.
Under the doctor’s orders, the nurse practitioner will use diagnostic equipment in caring for the student. The doctor will then analyze the readings and determine if the student can stay at school or needs to go home and set up an appointment with the doctor.
Goodin said one goal of the clinic is to reduce the number of days missed by students. Some parents keep their children home from school too long, while others send them back too early when they are sick. Goodin hopes the clinic will help eliminate some of that.
It also will allow sports physicals to be performed at the school.
“It’s just giving everybody the opportunity to make things better for their children,” Goodin said. “It’s a great opportunity we’re excited about. It’s going to be a big benefit to parents and students, as well.”
Crothersville-Vernon Fire Chief Ben Spencer said the cascade system would allow firefighters to refill their own oxygen cylinders, have better training and protect themselves when fighting fires.
The department uses self-contained breathing apparatuses when entering structure fires, hazardous materials incidents and vehicle fires. When those are used and fall below a certain level, they have to be refilled.
The closest fire stations to do that are Seymour and Brownstown.
“By the time we fight a structure fire, it’s another hour to hour-and-a-half of that firefighter’s personal time to get that (refilling) done,” Spencer said.
New Chapel Fire Department had donated four cylinders to Crothersville-Vernon, but those have been used up.
If Crothersville-Vernon gets its own system, firefighters won’t have to travel elsewhere to refill them, Spencer said.
The system also would allow firefighters’ monthly training to be more realistic.
“Whenever we have to share SCBAs, we can go through them pretty quick,” Spencer said. “We don’t want to get where we’re empty and that evening have a structure fire.”
Another benefit of the system is interoperability, where Crothersville-Vernon would open its doors to local agencies and industries to come in and fill bottles.
“We want to be able to keep that local for them to come into our building and fill their bottles when they need it,” Spencer said.
The department’s challenge is coming up with the money for a cascade system. Spencer said a new one can cost about $42,000, so he is having a sales representative search for a nice used one. Also, a new cylinder costs $1,500.
Crothersville-Vernon is switching over to a fire district at the beginning of 2017, and Spencer said the board members understand the importance of the system.
“That might not be a top priority, but it’s something that they know that we need,” he said. “We are very adamant about wearing our personal protection, so they understand that.”