Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Kudos to 5 Council Members for Ambulance Vote

Kudos and thanks to five Toledo City Council members who voted against having government take over a portion of the private ambulance services in our city!

Republicans Joe Birmingham, Rob Ludeman, George Sarantou, and Betty Shultz along with Democrat Ellen Grachek cast no votes on this ordinance which would allow our Fire Department to lease ambulances and provide basic life support services on 9-1-1 calls.

More information on this vote is available in this Blade story, but lacking in all the stories is the impact of taking these fire fighters out of service for the ambulance runs.

The City estimates that this decision will gain them about $600,000 this year and up to $1.2 million next year...additional revenue they say is needed to help balance our budget deficit of almost $11 million.

The logic some of the other members of council used to justify the vote was 'continuity of care.' Under this process, the same people who provide the emergency service will also be the ones transporting to the hospital. And yes, there is an aspect of 'continuity' for the individual who is injured or ill.

However, by using these fire fighters to transport, they are no longer available for other emergency runs nor for fighting fires and that results in a lack of continuity of service for everyone else.

The ambulance companies said that, based upon the location of the city-owned ambulances (in the more affluent areas of the city), they could lose up to 40% of their business. MedCorp President Richard Bage said he may move his headquarters and 300-employee payroll out of the city. The claims of loss of business ring true considering the impact of the City's decision to take over tow operations from private companies in 2005. That venture was supposed to net the city about a half a million dollars a year, but no one has publicized the financials on this - probably because it didn't measure up to projections.

Before Council voted on this, you'd think they'd want to know of the last government takeover of private business resulted in the projected revenue...but not in Toledo.

Toledo is losing people and businesses. Our mayor and council have said that they want to be a place that people and businesses want to come and grow. But their actions speak louder than their words - and people and businesses are hearing them loud and clear.

4 comments:

Right Wing Toledo said...

And what happens to the suburbs when the private ambulance companies are driven from the area?

Maggie Thurber said...

Well, I've thought for a long time that all the WORDS about regional cooperation were just that - words. When it comes to really cooperating these same people reject it in favor of domination.

Besides, why would they be concerned about the impact of their decision on the health of the region when they've failed to recognize its impact on the overall health of the city?

Hooda Thunkit said...

Maggie,

Then again, maybe council hasn't been made privy to certain information that was made known to me.

Based on what I know, I think that Toledo running BLS ambulances is a good thing, but time will tell.

Kate said...

And if the balance of council doesn't think the next time they rung for election - don't they realize what they're doing to their future?

They'll never be electable when they have a record for voting to predatory resolutions - basically devouring the people that put them into office.

So what do they think? Nobody will remember these things at election time?

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