Even though the Starke County Council kept the 2012 county budget the same as the one in place for 2011, one department got an increase. The Emergency Medical Service received an increase as they move toward attaining Advanced Life Support status.
Council President, Mark Smith, explained that the EMS’s contribution to the county’s general fund is significant.
“The biggest part of that miscellaneous revenue figure comes from the collections from our current ambulance service,” said Smith. “They collected $565,000 last year.”
By adding one paramedic on one rig per shift, the County EMS can submit a higher bill when making an emergency call.
“It has been projected that we’re going to an ALS based service. The billing rates are much different and they are projecting as much as a $200,000 increase in billable revenue for next year.”
Smith conceded that it might be a bit of a gamble to make the increase before the county attains the status, but he is confident that new Director, Paul Mathewson, has a plan in place to get there as quickly as possible.