New ambulance can be bought 'straight out,' mayor says

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By Calen McKinney

Emergency medical staff could soon have another new medic unit to transport the sick and injured to the hospital.
The joint city and county Rescue/E-911 Committee met on Thursday night to discuss the status of the rescue and fire and E-911 center budgets.
The Committee is made up of Magistrates Ed Gorin and Richard Phillips, who serves as chair, and City Council Members Mike Hall Jr. and Greg Rice. Campbellsville/Taylor County EMS Director Gary Magers also attended.
Campbellsville Mayor Tony Young told Committee members that the merger of local rescue and EMS services has gone well financially, well enough that the EMS budget has saved enough money to purchase another new ambulance outright.

With 83.3 percent of the 2011-2012 fiscal year having now passed, Young said, it’s good news that only 75.9 percent of the budget has been spent.
“Of $2.8 million, that’s significant,” he said.
Young said savings have come from staff changes and insurance, while vehicle maintenance costs have greatly increased. EMS has three first-out units, Magers said, and one has more than 223,000 miles on it.
The last medic unit was purchased in 2010. Campbellsville City Council members agreed to purchase a new medic unit last December as part of Young’s proposed plan to purchase one every two years.
That unit, which Young says will be delivered in July or August, was purchased from local company Mid-American Ambulance & Coach for $117,977.
When EMS staff members get that medic unit, Magers said, one currently used as backup will be rotated out of service, declared surplus and sold.
“We have been able to save significantly with the merger,” Young said. “We can pay for a new medic unit straight out.”
If approved, Young said, that purchase will mean that EMS personnel have three first-out medic units in very good condition, with two being new.
Gorin said he believes buying an additional medic unit now will save greatly on maintenance costs.
“I think it’ll pay for the truck,” Magers said.
Young said he wants the Committee’s blessing before discussing purchasing another medic unit with City Council members.
Phillips said he believes buying a new medic unit with savings will show that the city and county are investing in EMS.
“When we invest in EMS, we’re reinvesting into the community,” he said. “I think it’s a great idea and I’m 100 percent behind it.”
Gorin said the county paid the city $400,000 last year as its share to operate rescue and E-911 services. Young said buying another medic unit will not push the county’s contribution over the $400,000 amount.
“We’re all in the black,” Hall said.
Young said having a two-year medic unit purchase plan is very good.
“We are managing this department,” he said. “We are running it instead of it running us.”
If ordered now, Young said he believes the city can purchase a 2012 model year and get a discount since the 2013 models are already available. Phillips made a motion to recommend purchasing the additional medic unit, which Gorin seconded and was unanimously approved.
The purchase will now to go to the Campbellsville City Council and Taylor County Fiscal Court for final approval.
The Committee also discussed dedicating an older medic unit or van to convalescent runs so as to not tie up other medic units.
Magers said convalescent runs pay well, but oftentimes tie up several medic units. He said EMS must provide the transportation when a doctor signs an order stating that it is medically necessary.
Young said he will research the possibility of dedicating a vehicle specifically for convalescent runs and report back to the Committee.