The EMS tax levy defeat may prove to have been a blessing for all concerned.
Ada County voters said “no” to an emergency medical service mired in bickering, turf battles, inaccurate financial information and emotion.” The vote was 54% no to 46% yes
The Emergency Medical System in Ada County has a long history of tension between firefighters and paramedics–they even came to blows years ago at the Fair. Meridian City Council openly opposed the tax hike and Boise firefighters were also against it. Both fire departments are staffing some of their trucks with paramedics.
The solution is a no brainer.
Ada County Commissioners would be wise to encourage the cities to run their own ambulance show (like they do for cops). County taxes are paid by city and county folks alike, but if the cities pick up the slack it should cut down on the need for county EMS within the two highest population centers in the county. Same budget, fewer calls equals problem solved!
If Meridian and Boise want to run their own ambulances, let them do it. Citizens of those communities will still have to pay for county EMS, but not get service–just like they pay for sheriff’s department and get no service because local cops respond within the cities.
To keep taxpayers off the financial hook, the cities could have the paramedic first responders on the fire trucks for free and contract with private ambulance firms to transport the patients–the best of both worlds: immediate paramedic care and private transports which charge the patient for the taxi ride.
This is simple judo– use your opponent’s energy to your advantage.
To insure more advertising-free Boise Guardian news, please consider financial support.