In case you forgot, today is the first day our Fire Department began offering emergency medical response outside of our private/public partnership. Our fire staff has been excited and enthusiastic about providing direct service themselves. The partnership had lasted more than 10 years and it did a great job of helping us. Now we are ready to fly solo. We’ll continue the partnership in another form–they will back us up when all of our staff are on calls so no need to be concerned that we won’t be ready when you need us.
A change like this involved many, many moving parts and the fire staff has done tremendous work to ready personnel for the necessary changes in scheduling, reporting, training, equipment and supplies. As I watched them work their way through all the steps in their plan I could see that they are all in. Everyone was doing their part to meet the schedule and contributing to the effort.
In the past, folks who used ambulance services received a bill for those services from STAR. Now the City will bill for emergency medical services based on a survey of what is common and customary among local municipal ambulance services. We also considered the allowable billing amounts by insurers. We will ask City Council at their next meeting to approve the bill amounts. The revenues generated from ambulance services will be used to offset the City’s costs of providing the service and the costs associated with maintaining a fire department. There wasn’t a large cost outlay to begin since we are using our current staffing level (no new personnel) and we already owned the vehicles and equipment necessary to implement.
Today is a big step for the Fire Department and the whole community.
Call us if you need us–our number is 911.