Albemarle Fire Department Holds Meeti...

Albemarle Fire Department Holds Meeting to Discuss EMS Billing - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA N...

There are 13 comments on the NBC29 Charlottesville story from Apr 2, 2012, titled Albemarle Fire Department Holds Meeting to Discuss EMS Billing - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA N.... In it, NBC29 Charlottesville reports that:

Monday night, Albemarle County's fire department held a closed door meeting, trying to convince two of the county's volunteer rescue squads to start billing for ambulance service.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at NBC29 Charlottesville.

Top Flight

Richmond, VA

#1 Apr 3, 2012
Chief Eggleston at the direction of the Board of Supervisors want and will have in several years a fully career Fire and Rescue Service in Albemarle County. The idea being that certain standards can be met that meet National standards. The extremely high level of training by the various volunteer agencies will be taken over by an all career staff. Citizens, you think your taxes are terrible now, wait until the county rasises rates to fund ALL of the Fire and Rescue stations and companies. Do the people of Albemarle know that an ambulance is being staffed by career personel with the crew and the vehicle being stationed at the new Martha Jefferson Hospital so that they can run calls on the east side of the county. With Charlottesville Rescue being staffed by various numbers of members just 2 miles away. What sense does that make? It doesn't, it simply is part of the first steps necessary to a full career agency.
Grow Government

Charlottesville, VA

#2 Apr 3, 2012
Top Flight wrote:
Chief Eggleston at the direction of the Board of Supervisors want and will have in several years a fully career Fire and Rescue Service in Albemarle County.
ACPD says they are under staffed now? Wait till they are fighting for money siphoned by the new career positions the county is eager to create. Tax hike anyone?

Atlanta, GA

#3 Apr 3, 2012
Didn't the Chief just say on the news they are looking for alternative ways to fund the operation by billing the insurance companies instead of relying on the real estate taxes of the taxpayer? If they don't bill for service and grow into an all career department imagine the tax rate then. Stick it to the insurance companies for once, not the taxpayer.

Newburg, MD

#4 Apr 3, 2012
CARS has 2 county employees from 6 to 6 Monday through Friday, except holidays. Western has no county employees. Does the county really believe that other 150 plus volunteers during the rest of the time are will to work as defacto unpaid employees of the county? Volunteers being use to "boost revenues" Really? I think those volunteers will find something else to do.

Atlanta, GA

#5 Apr 3, 2012
Scottsville VOLUNTEER rescue squad bills for service and has 2 career personnel Monday through Friday , why can't CARS? None of their volunteers quit and no more career personnel were hired. Western has no career personnel and never publicly said they would not bill for service. As for ACPD, who bills for service for false alarm calls and gets revenue from traffic cameras they can tout on spending $570,000 on a firing range.

Atlanta, GA

#6 Apr 3, 2012
Still not seeing a tax hike from the story, nor where there is hiring of additional staff.

Johnson City, TN

#7 Apr 3, 2012
I think that if CARS can continue to provide service by not billing, let them. The whole way the revenue recovery system works is goofy anyways. Say CARS runs 5000 calls a year and bills a flat $500 a call and every single person paid their bill, total recovered is $2.5 million, so CARS gets that money back right? You would think so since they ran the call, but this is not how it works. The $2.5 mil goes to the county's general fund (even the money from the city citizens), and then the county gets to decided how much money that CARS gets back. I could get behind this if the county would guarantee that the every cent recovered would go back to the rescue squad that ran the call, but then the county doesn't get to see this money. The county wants to push CARS into billing because in 2011, CARS ran 5046 calls, 2,382 of them in Albemarle County (source: ). If CARS still billed a flat $500 per call and every single person paid their bill,$2,523,000 goes into the county's general fund, and that makes all the folks on the Board of Supervisors get all tingly inside. The county did originally approach CARS because they had to send their send their medics to the Richmond area to get released and get experience. If the county pulled their medics from CARS could they still get their new medics release and get them some experience? Sure, they have two ambulances now and one during the week in Scottsville, but it would take a significantly much longer, as the two county ambulances and Scottsville have nowhere near the call volume that CARS has. According to my previous source, of the 2,382 calls in the county that CARS ran, 2,247 of them were in their own first due (i.e. not covering a call for a county ambulance who was tied up on another call), so that's 2,247 calls that Albemarle County would have to start covering. You can be your butt that if Albemarle pushes CARS and CARS stops running calls in the county, Albemarle County Taxes will increase, as there will have to be a significant number of people hired, equipment bought, and buildings build to house them, and remember, Albemarle County isn't content with building a modest firehouse, they insist on going all out (Station 12, Hollymeade Fire & Rescue cost over $12 million alone, without apparatus or furnishing, Station 11, Monticello Fire & Rescue was around the $7 million mark itself). The county sees this as easy money during these hard times, but it not right that the county gets to decide how the funds are split up. If you run 5000 calls, you should get 5000 calls worth of revenue recovery, instead you are enabling the county by funding whatever agenda that it wants. Yes folks, it really is this simple.

Johnson City, TN

#8 Apr 3, 2012
My above post is a cross post from the other topic. Ask Scottsville Rescue how their donations are doing. They'll tell you that they've dropped off significantly. Also they're volunteer staffing has decreased significantly since the inception of billing. They are on the verge of becoming the next 24 hour career station in Albemarle County. Taxes will go up if the county continues to make things difficult for the volunteer companies to because the county will have to hire more people and build more over the top firehouses.

Atlanta, GA

#9 Apr 3, 2012
Could you tell me what a modest fire station should cost? The city of Charlottesville is getting ready to build one on Fontaine and to my understanding it has an estimated price tag of $16 million. If a fire truck cost $600,000, what kind of building do you build to house it and it's personnel? If the cost keeps rising to build and the County is going to build 2 more I would hope they would find other ways to pay for it than raise my taxes so it keeps a group of volunteer college students with no financial responsibility happy.

Atlanta, GA

#10 Apr 3, 2012
Scottsvilles fund raising has suffered. Cannot say it is because of the billing for service 100%. There are no plans to do their annual chili cook off fund raising event. I believe this is due to the property owner and not the squad.
reality bites

Charlottesville, VA

#11 Apr 3, 2012
Just plain greed, they won't be happy till all the members have their own vehicles to drive back and forth to home in. Whats next? The cops will start charging for responses to 911?

Charlottesville, VA

#12 Apr 4, 2012
Fight higher property taxes. Support and volunteer with a rescue squad or fire dept. in your neighborhood. Become informed of what you can do for your community to help offset the high tax rate. Step up and do the right thing...Volunteer! We live in a community that is full of nurses, doctors and medical personnel that have alot to offer. Less than 2% of these folks volunteer their time though. Lets not become the next Fairfax, Loudon or Prince William Co..
speak out

Johnson City, TN

#13 Apr 4, 2012
Albemarle County cannot afford to fund the services that CARS provides for free. Insurance billing is not the answer. It will not pay for new buildings and equipment.
f you were volunteering for a long established local volunteer organization with solid leadership and nationally recognized service to the community would you want to let the county come in and take over its operation? Right now our local government is standing in the doorway at CARS saying, "GIVE US YOUR BUILDINGS AND YOUR EQUIPMENT. WE WANT IT SO HAND IT OVER. WE ALSO WANT TO TAKE OVER CONTROL OF YOUR ENTIRE ORGANIZATION." This is what the county is demanding.
I have yet to see anyone produce figures for what it would cost for the County to replace the service CARS provides. FIGHT HIGHER TAXES NOW before it's too late. Let CARS continue to do what it's been doing successfully for 50 years.

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