Ambulance service not shutting down in Owensville

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Gibson Co. EMS Director Dan Alvey repeatedly assured Owensville residents the county was not removing an ambulance from their community during the Tuesday county council meeting. Several Owensville residents attended the meeting to express concern about the ambulance service leaving.

“We’re not shutting the truck down,” said ambulance service director Dan Alvey, “Frankly, I don’t know where the rumor started.” 

After bringing the need for extra money to cover overtime costs back to the table from last week, Alvey pointed out that he’s having a tough time finding enough part-time help to cover vacations and sick time.

Although the ambulance does move out of its base to a different post in order to cover a wider area when other ambulances are called out, Alvey stressed that each shift was covered, even though that might not seem to be the case.

At the meeting, Alvey supplied the ambulance staffing schedule to Gibson County Council’s President, Jeremy Overton, which showed the Owensville truck down to one man on 10 shifts in the past five months.

“It’s not that they don’t have coverage,” said Overton, “I just want to make sure that the level of alarm is equal to what’s really going on.”

When no other option is available, Alvey said they sometimes have to rely on the Owensville Fire Department’s first responders to drive the truck, which allows the paramedic to attend the patient. 

Owensville Town Council President Clyde Scott provided petitions to the council in support of the ambulance base, but Overton said there seems to be some confusion.

“There appears to be a lot of misinformation out there if these folks signed the petition because they were afraid we ‘the county’ were going to shut it down,” said Overton.

Toward the end of the meeting, it was suggested that the county think of appointing a human resources attendant, especially to help in the wake of confusion the healthcare reform law has left. Problems are also sometimes taking too long to be addressed due to the lengthy gaps between each once-a-month meeting. 

Overton agreed that it may be a good idea to look into the possibility and proposed that the commissioners look within their budget to see if they had the funds to hire someone into said position. 

Other than the hot topic of the Owensville ambulance, the majority of the meeting was occupied with permissions to hire and budget approvals.  

Sheriff George Ballard requested permission to hire one full-time Communications Officer, two Corrections Officers, one Deputy Sheriff and one Community Corrections Field Officer, all of which were approved. 

The council also approved the appointing of Rose Nellis to the Board of Trustees at the Owensville Carnegie Library as well as the Ft. Branch Library using some of its LERF funds. 

Michael Stevenson, the county surveyor, asked for permission to hire and use summer interns from Vincennes University this summer. After discussing the logistics, the council approved of the summer help.   

The last to ask for permission to hire was Jerry Heldt, the highway superintendent. The crew is down one to two guys while working on bridges, and they’re in need of operators to continue working. Heldt asked to replace the three missing links he has in his once four-man crew. The council also granted this request. 

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Amber L. Nixon, Star Times Staff Reporter

 

Leap of faith turns into successful Owensville business

Business FP Feature

Editor’s Note: This is the second of a series of stories about local entrepreneurs. If you know someone who started their own business in your town, contact us via Facebook or email, and we’ll consider them for the series.

Yuganda Campbell wasn’t afraid to take a leap of faith, and that faith has earned her a successful business for the past 13 years.

Campbell began work in a factory for seven years, and then moved on to banking for 23 years, where she worked her way to becoming an assistant manager. When her husband saw the Owensville Florist shop for sale in the square, he knew that would be the next move for both of them.  

“I don’t know what made me think I could do this,” Campbell laughed, “I just needed a change.” 

During the first few years, Campbell’s husband helped out with the shop, but now it’s just her, working in the back with the help of two part-timers, since her husband found a full-time job. 

Even though Campbell never went to college, and even though she never specialized in being a florist, the transition was easier with the help she received from the community of florists in the area. 

“I guess I really didn’t think it would be that… Well, I don’t want to say the word ‘challenging,’ but you know, it was.”

Although creating and being able to top her last arrangement for her next client is one of her favorite parts with her business, her absolute favorite part is the customers themselves and getting to interact with them.

The cardettes, or the cards that come with the flowers, can sometimes be humorous to Campbell, but she admits that she rarely reads them in order to give her people their privacy. 

“I can always tell when a man is in the doghouse though,” Campbell jokes, “I love to give them a hard time about that.”

In her shop, Campbell offers fresh, as well as silk flowers, a variety of colorful and fun flowerpots for her arrangements, baskets, benches and gifts for several occasion, and with the addition of her website Campbell’s customers can order online and customize their orders. Campbell tries to have an eclectic selection of flowers, but can’t offer too many exotic flowers in her shop. What’s the flower lady’s favorite flower?

“I love lilies, even though they can be rather delicate.”

Somewhat obviously, the busiest time of the year for the florist is Valentine’s Day, as well as Mother’s Day, but she says it’s also sporadic with whatever may come up throughout the year. 

With her main window facing Owensville Carnegie Library, Campbell has a front row seat to the Watermelon Festival, however, the festivities don’t affect her business one way or the other. 

“People come in the back door instead of the front since they can’t park in the main area, but that’s about it. Although I do shut down on Saturdays.”

On a normal week, Campbell will work Monday through Friday from 8:30 until 4, and on Saturdays from 8:30 until 12. Although part of the reason Campbell cuts the week short is because she doesn’t get much foot traffic, that’s not the only reason.

“I like to enjoy the festivities with my family, too,” Campbell smiles.

As a member of the Merchants Association in Owensville, Campbell joins in and helps work at different events year round. They offer chili and sandwiches at the REH Center on Halloween, cook and serve food at the town-wide yard sale, help in the Easter egg hunts and provide scholarships in Dollars for Scholars. On top of the work with the association, Campbell also donates flowers for pageants, eighth grade graduations and anything else she can offer for someone in need.

“I do a lot of donating because it’s just part of business.”

Just recently some Girl Scouts were touring the Fifth Third Bank in Owensville and detoured to her shop. Campbell welcomed the Brownies in, gave them a tour and then helped each girl make their very own flower arrangement. These moments are some of Campbell’s favorites, not only because the girls can take the flowers home and enjoy them, but also because there’s always a possibility to spark an interest in that career path.

“I think there’s an emphasis now on especially high school students who work at either this place or the other,” says Campbell, “There’s a stigma of failure if you switch around a lot, but I think, if nothing else- figure out what you don’t want.”

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Amber L. Nixon, Star Times Staff Reporter