After getting conflicting reports–and reading a very positive KTRV Fox-12 on-line story– the GUARDIAN did additional research and came up with more data about the State of Ada Ambulance Service
Despite “plans,” budget entries, and good intentions, the following glaring facts remain in the operation of the Ada County EMS system:
–Staffing levels remain below the strength before the failed tax levy in 2005. Eagle has EMS coverage from noon to midnight only.
–Only 91 out of more than 100,000 families have paid a $60 fee to the agency–like an insurance policy–for their “Neighbors For Life” plan.
–Those 91 families represent less than ONE-TENTH of a percent of the families in Ada County.
–EMS business development coordinator Brandi Creamer told Fox 12 the program is, “A tremendous success.” (what would classify as a “moderate” success?)
Reporter Dan Hamilton wrote, “Because people have been signing up, the ambulance district is able to afford capital improvements.”
The GUARDIAN has some real reservations how two new stations can be “on their way to being built” with only about $6,000.
As it stands today the budget has been increased $2.6 million and the county claims an increasing level of service. There may be PLANS for better service, but service levels are still low (despite increased population), EMS competes with private services, and paramedics are apparently underpaid–we know of at least one leaving to become a fireman.
Paramedics are paid a base of $15.12 per hour, but have a built-in overtime factor of at least 8 hours a week which raises the average.
Director Troy Hagen told Fox 12 the budget was successful due in part to good business sense.
If you are the regulator of your competition and their revenues drop by 50% that may qualify as good business sense.
To insure more advertising-free Boise Guardian news, please consider financial support.