I totally agree with what you have said. I am with a rural service that covers approximately 260 square miles of the county we are including 4 smaller towns in our service area. In the later 1990's we were running into personel and financial worries. In 1998 our solution was to form and ambulance district which allowed us to collect property tax money for funding the service. This has enabled the service to hire some full time personel including medic's and basics at a wage that is above the average wage for our living area. We still utilize volluteer's and pay them a per call wage, on call paid time and holiday pay. We also have fireman in the town's that we service for EVOC driver's and they are also paid a per call amount. We are in the very near future going to be hiring 2 more full time medic's. We are able to replace or purchase new equipment as needed without the financial worries that we had before. We are able to retain personel as well as there seem's to be more interest on the vollunteer side of the service since we have been paying. This may not work for every small service but has worked pretty well for our service for the past 10 years.With todays economy it is hard to ask people to give up time from a paid job to do free ambulance time. My advice is no matter how small and slow an area you serve is go paid. There is money to convert to a paid service if you dig into your communitys budget. Do away with holiday expenses such as lights, don't buy the council member a new car, etc. With a little effort it can be done and your community will benefit from having a properly staffed ambulance being able to respond quicker.
We field about 250 calls a year. This year the town had to rob peter to pay us for our time. $5 in town and $7 out per call. They ended up paying rescue personel about 12000 total, then fire about half the amount as us. Crappy broke arse town. Oh well. Not in it for the $ thats what my hubby's for.
Plenty of money, Yes. But we are not in charge of that money. We do what's right for the patients, convincing the town council that we don't need to spend thousands of dollars to cut down trees, but instead need to invest more money into the ems is another story.I really think you need to go look deeply into the city/county financial records and you will find there is plenty of money to fund a properly staffed professional department. Do whats right for the patients that we are here to help.