May 13, 2013
HERE WE GO AGAIN—BOC
WANTS RFP TO PRIVATIZE EMS
The weekly budget meeting at 5:00PM this Monday night had
some very interesting discussion about EMS, the budget, and going out for an
RFP (Request for Proposal) to privatize EMS in Jasper County.
Four commissioners were present at the meeting with Comm.
Salmon participating via speakerphone.
There was no one from the paper to report on this or any other issue
discussed (like closing the landfill).
During the discussion, they said EMS revenue for 2013 was budgeted
at $420,000. For the first 8 months of the budget year $294,000 had been collected. This would be an annualized amount of $441,872.
EMS expenses are budgeted at $816,000. The actual cost of
EMS to the county is approximately $335,100 per year. (The figures discussed don’t add up to this
amount, but that was the bottom line.)
The BOC is looking for $300,000 to get the wants and needs
down to come in line with revenues.
Comm. Trammell said he knows it is controversial, but he
thinks the county could break even if they privatize EMS. Comm. Salmon then said all 3 ambulances were
having engine problems, and we were down to one unit a few weeks ago. He said the repairs were a drain on the
Later in the meeting EMS was discussed again. Comm. Salmon again brought up privatization
of EMS and said he didn’t want to jeopardize the safety of the citizens, but wanted
to know if we outsourced EMS, what kind of savings would it give us [the
Lorri Smith told the BOC the savings would be the revenues
less the expenses.
She also said it
would not be the same service level.
said the county would always have a staff ambulance but you won’t have a basic
ambulance. Lorri also brought up that people in the county won't know the people
on the ambulances. (When this was tried before the ambulance drivers did not
know the area or the location of the roads in the county.)
2nd video here. (Craig Salmon is talking via speakerphone.)
Comm. Henry then asked how much was being spent on overtime
at EMS. The figure in the budget is $145,000.
Lorri Smith then mentioned that the
EMTs and Paramedics are guaranteed to make 8 hours of overtime per every 2
weeks. This is how their pay rate is
figured, so there is going to be overtime.
At the end of the meeting Comm. Salmon again brought up the
cost of maintaining the ambulances.
Comm. Trammell said our EMS was ragged now, but those folks were doing
the best they can. Comm. Pennamon wanted
to put in on the agenda for the next meeting to go out for an RFP for EMS
services. This was agreed to with nods
by the BOC and by Comm. Salmon via speaker phone. They all said they “just wanted to see” but
the discussion throughout the meeting indicated much more than getting
figures. Somehow they all have been led
to believe this would save the county money.
3rd video here.
The next BOC meeting will be next Tuesday, May 21 at 6:30PM. At 5:00PM the BOC will meet at Public Works
and do a walk through. The public should
be able to tag along as well if they are interested in seeing the PW department