Ambulance Services Issues Addressed in Council Meeting
Susan Henke, the director of Ambulance Services, announced the Memorial Hospital Paramedic Program was awarded Paramedic Provider of the Year and Paramedic Marty Jones received Paramedic of the Year at the recent Indiana Emergency Response Conference.
This is significant as the paramedic program is only 18 months old. Henke told the Council, “I think that proves that we are doing a pretty good job out there and being recognized for it.”
The Council directed Henke to present her budget at the budget hearing on September 11. She was unable to attend the county budget meetings. She took the time to explain the increase in budget for the ambulance services.
She stated the program cost had increased from $800,283 in 2012 to $930,322 in 2013 due to higher wages being paid for the trained paramedics, overtime, benefits, and other expenses.
She said that they are in the midst of expanding its paramedic services and the higher level of training and care demands a higher pay rate
County Council president Greg Kendall told Henke the council had budgeted $900,000 for ambulance services. The cost is shared between the county and Memorial Hospital.
The council asked Henke to attempt to get closer to the $900,000 budget the council proposed. Henke identified the four ambulance stations as the source of the increase in labor costs as well as the pay for the paramedics.