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Ambulance services: still more questions than answers

Alicia Knadler
Indian Valley Editor
11/25/2009

    Few residents turned out to hear the latest update about the future of ambulance services in Indian Valley.
    As promised, Indian Valley Ambulance Services Authority Chairman Guy McNett attended the Wednesday, Nov. 18, meeting of the Indian Valley Community Services District, though he said all negotiations had stopped temporarily.

    He was speaking about negotiations with Mountain LifeFlight, the only provider to bid for the contract to provide ambulance services in the valley.
    Its crews are in the midst of a tragedy after three of their fellows died in a crash Saturday, Nov. 14.
    McNett spoke of the tragedy and did not know how that would affect their emergency medical services organization.
    Regardless, McNett said ambulance authority directors would continue their work to ensure there is an ambulance service available to the residents of Indian Valley.
    Before negotiations halted, the major change proposed was to delete the part that requires them to contract with the provider which would provide ambulance services at no out-of-pocket expense.
    The proposal submitted on behalf of Mountain LifeFlight was contingent on the removal of the verbiage “for no out-of-pocket expense” from the joint powers agreement between the health and community services districts.
    That agreement is what formed the ambulance service authority back in 1995, when Indian Valley Hospital was no longer able to shoulder the burden of ambulance services.
    If that change is made to the agreement, the special ambulance tax residents have paid annually since 1995 would then specifically be used to subsidize the service so an ambulance and crew would be available locally, from an Indian Valley location.
    McNett said if residents want to keep that no out-of-pocket benefit, they would need to seek it themselves through membership in whatever program an ambulance company might offer.
    McNett will provide another update and chance for residents to ask questions during the healthcare district meeting Monday, Dec. 7, 5:30 p.m., in the Indian Valley Civic Center, located at 430 Main St. in Greenville.
    The next opportunity for public comment and participation will be during the special ambulance authority meeting Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 5:30 p.m. in the Indian Valley Civic Center.


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