Streator seeks to finalize billing and intergovernmental agreements before ambulances launch on October 1 – Shaw Local

Streator is just over two weeks away from launching its ambulance service, and details are being ironed out.

Streator City Council will vote on billing at its meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 21, but intergovernmental agreements with neighboring fire protection districts remain in flux.

City Manager David Plyman said the Cornell and Allen Township (Ransom) fire protection districts, which were also previously served by Advanced Medical Transport, have elected to use other emergency ambulance services, but the districts of Long Point and Reading will decide soon. Cornell elected to use Pontiac and Allen Township will partner Dwight.

Tom Metzke, trustee and treasurer of the Reading Fire Protection District, told The Times on Wednesday that the district has decided it will need more revenue whatever decision it makes on ambulance service. emergency and will call for a referendum on the April ballot to raise taxes. . Metzke said the district plans to hold a meeting Monday or Tuesday before the Streator board meeting to work out more details as the board decides what to do in the interim. Metzke has considered the district’s options, including entering into an intergovernmental agreement with Streator or seeing if AMT can continue to provide services, but administrators want to choose a provider that best suits the district. He said one option after the referendum could be for Reading to have its own emergency ambulance service.

“Finances are our biggest challenge,” Metzke said until the district can pass a referendum, noting that Streator’s current proposal may be too cost-restrictive for the district.

Plyman said the city will work with fire protection districts, but will seek cost recovery after a referendum.

Plyman said Streator’s ambulance service does not report to any of the fire protection districts, however, the city has provided for the possibility of them doing so. The council said the city would not foot the bill for services for other tax agencies.

In 2021, AMT responded to 32 Long Point calls and 368 Reading calls. Plyman said it modeled the cost of expanding ambulance service to Long Point or Reading based on what Cornell would pay Pontiac for the service. Cornell will pay Pontiac $485 per call. At that call volume, the city would recoup $194,000 in revenue, plus Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance company payments for the Long Point and Reading calls.

Plyman also included language in an intergovernmental agreement for billing if the Streator Fire Department is needed for additional assistance on a call.

City Council will vote at next week’s meeting to approve billing $1,200 for Survival Calls and $1,500 for Advanced Support. City billing contractor Northern Illinois Ambulance Billing, Inc. recommended these amounts. The board will also consider additional tariffs if specific equipment and medications are used. Plyman said the city service intends to operate as self-sufficiently as possible and will need to generate enough revenue to replace equipment and vehicles over the long term.

While the emergency ambulance service is set to launch on October 1, the city manager said the city had one of its ambulances parked in the fire station and was waiting for a second ambulance to arrive, expecting that she will. The city intends to have three ambulances: two ambulances for the front line and one backup, Plyman said.

This winter, the AMT asked the city to subsidize its services, which led the city council to explore other options. The city has since purchased its own vehicles and equipment and entered into a personnel agreement with Advanced Medical Response at a cost of $1,138,000 for 2022-23; $1,114,000 for 2023-2024; and $1,148,534 for 2024-25 to operate its own emergency ambulance service. Northern Illinois Ambulance Billing, Inc., of Mendota, will handle bill processing and proceeds will fund the operation.

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