City approves purchase of ambulance

Concordia Blade Empire – September 20, 2018

Purchasing a new ambulance to replace Medic-5, which blew a head gasket, was approved by the Concordia city commission during its regular meeting on Wednesday.

The city will buy a 2017 Ford E350 with a V10 gas engine from Osage Ambulances at cost of $9,700. It is a remount demo unit which will carry the same warranty as a new unit.

Fire Chief Eric Voss reported to the commission that Medic-5, a 2010 Ford F350 with a 6.0L diesel motor, was returning from a call in Glasco when it started blowing white smoke and then locked up as it was pulled into the Fire Department/EMS building.

Estimated cost of repairs to Medic-5 is $6,000 for just the head gasket.

Voss said in the past two years the city has spent $7,000 in repairs on the unit and it has only been driven 9,000 miles.

“The guys don’t trust it to go anywhere. It is our last unit out,” Voss said.

Voss contacted Osage Ambulances and was informed it had the 2017 Ford demo.

Including Medic-4, the city has four ambulances serving Concordia and the surrounding area.

“The biggest thing we are running into is the transfers, and that is just health care today,” Voss said.

Voss said that this year, to date, Concordia has done 135 transfers to Salina and 191 total.

The busiest year was 2016 when the city made 203 transfers.

“I think we need to look at how we handle outside Concordia, and maybe go to the county and some of those towns and say we are running thin, and our equipment is getting miles on it and we are having to replace it, and the city can’t keep doing this just on its own,” Mayor Sam Sacco said.

Sacco said the city doesn’t mind providing the manpower and taking the time to do it, but when it comes to the equipment, help is needed.

“I don’t think the city can afford to keep furnishing equipment, and paying for it for the whole county,” Sacco said.

City manager Amy Lange said that the way the city does ambulance billings is that, whatever insurance or Medicare doesn’t pay for the ambulance runs, based on what is charged, then the rest is billed to a township in Cloud County based on a formula.

“A portion of that billing and a portion of the charges that we have does include a little bit that is supposed to pay for some of the equipment. It pays for personnel and supplies, but it also does pay for a little bit of equipment. So I think you are right. I think it is time to start talking to the county about increasing that a little bit, but we are sensitive to the fact that they are very sensitive to the amount they are getting charged,” Lange said.

Commissioner Chuck Lambertz said there needs to be an equitable sharing of the cost for the ambulance service provided by the city.

Commissioner Mark Matthew said it would be nice if the county had a line item in its budget to help pay for the equipment.

“I agree with Sam, I think the county has to step up, and maybe it has to be a line item in their budget,” Matthew said.

Medic-5 will be placed on Purple Wave for sale.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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