Wayne county EMS
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I think

United States

#1 Nov 11, 2010
I think there needs to be a county wide EMS in Wayne county. Your thoughts?
I AGREE

Staunton, VA

#2 Nov 15, 2010
I think wrote:
I think there needs to be a county wide EMS in Wayne county. Your thoughts?
Way overdue!! Someone needs to step up to the plate and get this started. Lord knows it is not an evenly spread service throughout the county.
i agree 2

Gassaway, WV

#3 Nov 18, 2010
Needs to happen. Fire departments can no longer provide coverage for the entire county evenly. The citizens of the county need to call the commisioners and demand something be done.
Byd

Ceredo, WV

#4 Nov 20, 2010
Ok, so if this does happen are you all going to support your local fire departments by donating? Do you really think county commissioners will free up money for them? No. Not a snowballs chance in hell. If that happens kiss your fire/rescue goodbye. No way is it possible to keep the doors open with out fire dept ran EMS. Oh and for those who do not think it is that expensive check out the price for a pumper. Your jaw will hit the floor.
I AGREE

Gassaway, WV

#5 Nov 24, 2010
Do you really think that a fire department cannot survive without the EMS system in their station?? Of course it will survive!! Look at Cabell County, Putnam County, Mason County, Kanawha County...this list goes on and on! In these counties there is an evenly spread service for their tax payers. In Wayne County, you may have to wait for an extra 15, 30, 45 minutes for an ambulance from a neighboring or neighbor of a neighboring fire station. It is not uncommon for a truck from Prichard to cover an EMS call in Fort Gay. Or a truck from Lavalette to travel to Rock Springs Mine in East Lynn. In life threatening situations....these are not good response times. It is not fair to the people that have to wait. ITS TIME WAYNE COUNTY -- STEP UP -- A WAYNE COUNTY EMS SYSTEM IS A MUST. The taxpayers deserve it!!
Byd

Ceredo, WV

#6 Nov 28, 2010
I AGREE wrote:
Do you really think that a fire department cannot survive without the EMS system in their station?? Of course it will survive!! Look at Cabell County, Putnam County, Mason County, Kanawha County...this list goes on and on! In these counties there is an evenly spread service for their tax payers. In Wayne County, you may have to wait for an extra 15, 30, 45 minutes for an ambulance from a neighboring or neighbor of a neighboring fire station. It is not uncommon for a truck from Prichard to cover an EMS call in Fort Gay. Or a truck from Lavalette to travel to Rock Springs Mine in East Lynn. In life threatening situations....these are not good response times. It is not fair to the people that have to wait. ITS TIME WAYNE COUNTY -- STEP UP -- A WAYNE COUNTY EMS SYSTEM IS A MUST. The taxpayers deserve it!!
Apparently you did not read what I had said. You listed counties that have county wide EMS and the fire departments get a fair amount of money from them. My point is that I do not see wayne county giving out enough money for these fire departments to survive. If they give these departments at LEAST the same amount to survive. Now like I said again. IF the county gave all these departments more money to keep 24 hr ambulances then is that not the same thing?
Byd

Ceredo, WV

#7 Nov 28, 2010
I AGREE wrote:
Do you really think that a fire department cannot survive without the EMS system in their station?? Of course it will survive!! Look at Cabell County, Putnam County, Mason County, Kanawha County...this list goes on and on! In these counties there is an evenly spread service for their tax payers. In Wayne County, you may have to wait for an extra 15, 30, 45 minutes for an ambulance from a neighboring or neighbor of a neighboring fire station. It is not uncommon for a truck from Prichard to cover an EMS call in Fort Gay. Or a truck from Lavalette to travel to Rock Springs Mine in East Lynn. In life threatening situations....these are not good response times. It is not fair to the people that have to wait. ITS TIME WAYNE COUNTY -- STEP UP -- A WAYNE COUNTY EMS SYSTEM IS A MUST. The taxpayers deserve it!!
You are right though. It happens all the time and it is sad. Like i have said though, If this county would give us money to buy/pay for a little of EMS it would be so much better
I think

United States

#8 Nov 29, 2010
I just don't think that it is fair to the citizens of all areas of wayne county to "suffer" because the county commission is blind to this issue. I bet if it was one of them that had to wait for an ambulance their opinion would change GREATLY! And I don't think that the FD can really make that much money off the ambulances. I mean come on with paying the wages, fuel, workers comp and so on......it really can't be that much of a financial benefit to the FDs can it? Are there certain FDs throughout the county that make more money on EMS than others?
Byd

Kenova, WV

#9 Dec 3, 2010
I think wrote:
I just don't think that it is fair to the citizens of all areas of wayne county to "suffer" because the county commission is blind to this issue. I bet if it was one of them that had to wait for an ambulance their opinion would change GREATLY! And I don't think that the FD can really make that much money off the ambulances. I mean come on with paying the wages, fuel, workers comp and so on......it really can't be that much of a financial benefit to the FDs can it? Are there certain FDs throughout the county that make more money on EMS than others?
They make enough to buy SOME of the equipment they need. No where near all of what they need. EMS is the only income for these departments. That is how they have what little they have.
i agree 2

Gassaway, WV

#10 Dec 6, 2010
All fire departments in the state get money from homeowners insurance policies. EMS barely breaks even, if it does not cost the fire departments money that could be used to buy new equipment
I think

United States

#11 Dec 6, 2010
I just can't understand why nobody has stepped up and atleast TRIED to start a county wide EMS service. Its not going to be easy nor will it be a quick thing to do. Trust me when I say it, if I had the time and the education to do it I would pester council until they gave me money for 1 year worth of service. And you folks that say "the fd won't survive" well here's your fix.....RENT the stations off of the FDs throughout the county until you are up on your feet enough to build Wayne Co. EMS station 1! Its JOBS for a terrible economy AND just think of what it will do for YOUR and MINE community. Remember ROME WASN'T BUILT IN A DAY!!!!! It WILL work and it WILL be better for the citizens of wayne county!
Byd

Huntington, WV

#12 Dec 8, 2010
i agree 2 wrote:
All fire departments in the state get money from homeowners insurance policies. EMS barely breaks even, if it does not cost the fire departments money that could be used to buy new equipment
I would like to know where you got this information from. I work in fire and ems and never have heard of this. Apparently a lot of departments are missing out on this.
I AGREE

Staunton, VA

#13 Dec 8, 2010
A percentage of all home owners insurance payments goes into a fund that is divided among the WV fire departments. It is part of the quarterly money you receive. And I agree with "I think" why hasn't this been tried yet?
I think

United States

#14 Dec 8, 2010
Byd wrote:
<quoted text>
I would like to know where you got this information from. I work in fire and ems and never have heard of this. Apparently a lot of departments are missing out on this.
How long have u been in the fire/ems service??? You mean to tell me the dept you are a member of is supported by ONLY the ems money????? That aside tho.....your dept...how much money a yrear goes towards fire only from your ems??
Byd

Ceredo, WV

#15 Dec 9, 2010
I think wrote:
<quoted text>
How long have u been in the fire/ems service??? You mean to tell me the dept you are a member of is supported by ONLY the ems money????? That aside tho.....your dept...how much money a yrear goes towards fire only from your ems??
5 years. about 90% of our funding comes from EMS. County commission provides money to 1 department each year. The next it goes to another department. So one year Wayne gets Commission money the next Dunlow gets it so on and so forth. There are 9 departments in Wayne county. So every 9 years a department gets money. I moved out of Wayne county a few years ago and fight fire some where else. I just want to see those departments get the equipment they deserve.
Clinton Burley

Huntington, WV

#16 Dec 9, 2010
Greetings -

I feel I must step into this thread and provide an accurate picture of funding sources for Wayne County VFDs, specifically that in Ceredo. I have been in a leadership role with the Ceredo VFD since 1984 and have been actively involved in the financial component of the operation since that time.

I'll list each funding source individually:

State Share Dollars - These dollars are generated by the required insurance surcharge on homeowners policies in WV. The amount is always > $15,000 but varies annually based on actual income from the surcharge.

Legislative Budget Digest Money - These dollars are earmarked in the state budget based on directives issued by the legislators. Not every department will get these funds each year. There have been years that CVFD has received > $30,000 and other years we received zero. Dollars must be used for a specific purpose.

Wayne Co. Fire/Ambulance Levy - This is a county tax on real estate. The amount received varies annually based on tax collections. The eight VFDs in Wayne County always receive > $35,000 and the Huntington FD always receives > $50,000. To access these dollars the FD must supply invoices for equipment, fuel, truck payments etc to the Wayne Co. Commission for payment. Those payments "draw down" against that which is available to each FD.

Ceredo Town Levy - This is a local tax on real estate within the municipal limits of Ceredo. It generates $5,000 -$10,000 annually.

Fund Drive - An annual campaign and special event fund raisers to residents and businesses in the fire district. Depending on the amount of giving this effort will generate $10,000 -$20,000 annually for the Ceredo VFD. National economic factors have hurt this funding source significantly.

EMS Billing - Revenue derived from completion of EMS calls. This funding stream will sometimes break even against EMS operational costs, sometimes not. It is wholly dependent on call volume and percentage of payments received vs. dollars billed. In July 2010 we were in the red at roughly 8%, now we are basically even on costs vs. revenue.

Thats it in a nutshell. No secrets, no surprises, nothing outstanding. It is very expensive to run these operations at a high level and we feel fortunate as compared to many departments in our region. Our fleet is paid for, our stations (three of them) are paid for and we pay our bills on time, everytime. Is it enough? Never. Is it adequate? Adequate is what you make of it and the Ceredo VFD has a strong history of exceptional stewardship with the dollars available.

Our detailed financial reports are updated monthly and are always available for public review. If you would like to meet and see them please contact me at anytime. My number is in the telephone directory or I can be reached by email, [email protected]

I am nearing my character limit so I will address Wayne County EMS challenges in post that follows.

Thanks!
Clinton Burley

Huntington, WV

#17 Dec 9, 2010
Now to address the challenges associated with developing what has been referred to as Wayne County EMS...

Today we are living the lack of political willpower in the 1970s. Please allow me to explain.

In the late 1970s counties all around Wayne were developing paramedic services on a county-wide basis. The funding source in Cabell, Putnam and Kanawha Counties in WV, Lawrence County in OH as well as Boyd and Carter Counties in KY was property tax levies. Each county commission put the tax levy on the ballot, voters passed it and the levies remain in place today, albeit in some various forms, but that is another post for another day. Later on Mason and Lincoln Counties in WV added levies as well.

While all this revenue generation was at a fever pitch Wayne County, as well as Mingo, WV, Lawrence, KY and others steered clear. Why did Wayne County steer clear? The VFDs took care of the EMS business at very little cost to the county. There was (in the eyes of the Wayne County Commission) no reason to add a tax if the system worked.

Fast forward to today... The VFDs still provide the service, each with some level of pay for staff. The county Fire/Ambulance Levy is really for fire (and is not much anyway - it would not cover one full-time paramedic's salary/benefits) and EMS survives on patient collections.

There is ongoing banner waving for county EMS. I'll wave the banner too if we can pay for it. The reality is that we can't. Well, we could if we had a tax levy exclusively for EMS. Does anyone really think that ANY tax levy stands a chance in this economic climate? No way.

Wayne County EMS would require at least five twenty-four hour advanced life support crews every day of the year. At a minimum vehicles would be required in C-K, Lavalette, Wayne, Fort Gay and Dunlow. Each truck could have one paramedic and one EMT on board. The cost per truck per hour in salary and benefits would be approximately $27.30. Per day that is $655.20. Per year that is $239,148. For five trucks for that same year we are now at $1,195,740. Remember, that is just for staff. No trucks, no equipment, no fuel, no insurance, no repairs - nothing but staff. Add in those items and we need somewhere around 1.5 - 1.6 million dollars per year for Wayne County EMS. Folks, the votes are simply not there for it.

I hope this helps and I truly welcome your comments and further discussion.

Clinton Burley
EMS Director
Ceredo VFD
Clinton Burley

Huntington, WV

#18 Dec 9, 2010
One more funding source I failed to mention on a previous post...

Wayne County Ambulance Replacement Funding - A rotating contribution of $50,000 from Coal Severance Funds for ambulance replacement. The Wayne County Commission awards these funds to each of the seven departments in the county that provide EMS (Ceredo, Kenova, Prichard, Lavalette, Wayne, Fort Gay and Dunlow) on a rotating basis. Each department receives these dollars every seven years. At Ceredo, with two trucks, we have a life expectancy per truck of fourteen years. Seem high for an emergency ambulance? It is. The national average is less than ten years or 150,000 miles.
I think

United States

#19 Dec 10, 2010
Mr. Burley, thank you for the detailed info. But my original intent with this post was really referring to the lack of coverage we have now. What's is your remedy for the lack of coverage there is now? Is there a solutuon?
Clinton Burley

Huntington, WV

#20 Dec 11, 2010
Thanks for the follow-up.

The coverage challenge is not simply a Wayne County issue, it is a national problem. In our community it is reflective of the model we use for service delivery, namely the "volunteer" service component.

To serve as a care provider on an ambulance one must become certified as an Emergency Medical Technician - Basic. This is a 120 hour course taught at the community college level. Tuition averages $400 plus another $75 or so for books. So, an individual pays cash from their pocket, invests personal time for a "free" job and enjoys the benefit of missing dinners, being awakened at night for calls and still working the next day, continuing education and more. If one is paid as an EMT the hourly rate is around $8 -$9. No one is getting rich, thats a certainty.

Persons wishing to serve as a paramedic can complete the paramedic course of study. With no previous training, that is two years start to finish, roughly 1,500 clock hours. Starting pay is $10 -$12 per hour. Go to nursing school for those same two years and starting pay jumps to $23 -$25 per hour. You have to love this job to do it.

This brings me to the answer to your question: There simply are not enough trained people to provide around the clock coverage at every station in Wayne County, especially for free. Even those departments that pay staff have holes in the schedule. The solution is full-time, paid EMS across the county - but that expensive and it is not a total fix. Every paid service in this region will place a truck out of service from time-to-time due to lack of staffing.

Until EMS as a whole becomes more "salary competitive" with other portions of healthcare this problem will not go away. Unfortunately, the VFD glory days in the 1950s - 1980s where people would stop their lives and race to a station to answer a call are behind us.

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