The Knox City Council this week learned an unexpected statistic from Knox-Center Township Fire Chief Kenny Pfost, who explained that one-third of his department’s calls are for medical purposes. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, it is inconvenient for the fire department because they receive no reimbursement for medical calls, but must pay $10 to each firefighter that responds to the call.
Pfost explained that most medical response calls are to help lift a patient or provide immediate care until an ambulance can arrive. Unfortunately, he said the fire department cannot charge the EMS department for the cost of responding firefighters and can only bill a service fee to the individual subject.
City attorney David Matsey said he could look through contracts with townships to see whether or not they could charge a service fee.
Pfost said there is also no way to tell how many firemen will respond to a call; anywhere from one to 23 firefighters can arrive at the scene, depending on who is available.
Mayor Rick Chambers said if this continues to be an issue, it could be addressed in the future.