History of Lake West Ambulance
Lake West Ambulance began as an all volunteer service.
In September 1973, it was proposed by University Extension Office representative Ben Dauherty that an ambulance could be purchased by the city of Sunrise Beach thru the Highway Safety Act #57. The cost of the ambulance $3,500.
Donations were collected in excess of $7,000 to purchase the ambulance. All funding for operation and maintenance initially came from donations by the community as well.
In the spring of 1974, an 81-hour Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) course was taught. Over 20 students completed the course and received their state EMT licenses.
A not-for-profit corporation, Community Emergency Ambulance Service, Inc or CEAS was established. A contract was signed between the city of Sunrise Beach and CEAS, Inc. Board of Directors to operate the ambulance.
Initially, there was no designated ambulance base. Volunteers responded from their homes.
The Ambulance handled over 150 emergencies from November 1974 through September 1976. During that time, many of the volunteers moved from the area, and others were unable to operate the vehicle any longer.
The CEAS Board of Directors studied the issue of declining volunteers and proposed the formation of a tax supported ambulance district. The district would encompass portions of Morgan and Camden Counties. Including the communities of Laurie, Greenview, Sunrise Beach, and Hurricane Deck.
388 registered voters in the proposed District signed petitions requesting the issue be placed on the November 2, 1976 ballot.
A public hearing was held on August 16, 1976. At that time the petitions were found to be adequate by the Camden County Court, and an election was ordered. With a simple majority of votes needed to pass the ballot issue which would establish the Cam-Mo Ambulance District.
The Measure passed by a 52 vote margin, 1367 to 1315.
Passage of the measure was certified by the Camden County Court on November 10, 1976
A lawsuit contesting the results of the elections was filed on November 19, 1976 by 4 persons in the proposed district. Their appeal cited no ballots or polling places in certain areas of the proposed district. Therefore some persons residing in the proposed district were not allowed to vote.
The election establishing the Cam-Mo Ambulance District was set aside by Judge John Parrish on February 1, 1977, due to the omission of 3 polling places in the election notices of August 20, 1976.
The CEAS, Inc. Board of Directors asked the county if the original petitions of July 12, 1976 would still be valid. They would use those petitions to ask for another election.
Since no case like this had ever been presented in the state of Missouri, the Camden County Prosecuting Attorney's Office wrote the Attorney General, asking for an opinion on the validity of the original petitions.
On March 16, 1977 Attorney General Ashcroft's opinion was received, allowing Camden County Court to call another election for the proposed Cam-Mo Ambulance District.
The proposal was placed on the April 26, 1977 ballot.
This time the measure passed by a vote of 350 to 187.
The Cam-Mo Ambulance District, Inc was officially established July 25th, 1977.
Full time administrator was hired on October 20, 1983.
The ambulance and crew were housed out of a rented apartment on Lake road 5-36. The ambulance(s) had no garage and sat outside during all weather conditions.
Numerous tax levy increases failed to pass voter approval, until April 1984. A 10¢ levy increase was passed.
August 1984, new 1984 Ford Type III purchased.
October 1989 saw the completion of a new base near Lake Road 5-32, on what is now Cam-Mo Drive.
In 2004, Cam-Mo Ambulance District asked the citizens to pass a sales tax proposal. This would transition the current proptery tax to a sales tax. Sales tax rate to be set at 1/2¢.
The ballot issue passed by a wide margin