Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ambulance district needs more funds

The current ambulance service is working just as it is supposed to. However, available funding is no longer sufficient to keep it at its present level. To keep the ambulance service in Blaine County from falling to a mediocre level, we must provide adequate funding.

The ambulance district is restricted to 3 percent of the property tax revenue of the previous year. Funds are falling short because of the rising costs of replacement ambulances, medicines, motor fuel and oil, employment benefits, and many other factors. In addition, Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance ambulance fee reimbursements are decreasing. Overall, costs are rising at a much higher rate than funding for the ambulance district is.

The ambulance district is only asking for a maximum of $350,000 annually. During the first year, that would cost $3 per $100,000 of assessed property value. After the first year, the $3 would actually go down.

This funding would keep ambulance service to Blaine County running 24/7. The county has grown during past years, and many areas are far from medical resources. It is crucial that these resources are available to our families, friends and guests, and to ensure that they are available, the ambulance service needs to remain at a high level of operation.

Wendy Jaquet


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