WALKER - North Memorial Ambulance hopes to have its advance life support license from the state by mid-May, North representative Gary Pearson informed the Cass County Board on Tuesday.
The ambulance service agreement between the county and North Memorial called for obtaining the ALS license on or before July 1.
Pearson told the board that North has hired and trained 12 new staffers to work in Longville.
Since Jan. 1, North has responded to 50 requests for service and transported 39 patients, Pearson said.
Startup costs have put expenses higher than budget projections. The number of runs has been fewer than expected for the first quarter. Pearson said he expects calls for service to increase during summer months, however, as overall population increases seasonally.
Once the state approves the ALS license, North Memorial will be able to charge a higher rate for services, which also will offset revenue losses it has experienced. Currently, the Longville service must transfer patients requiring advanced life support to an ALS certified ambulance service along the route to a hospital so patients can receive advanced care as quickly as possible.
Patients have had to pay ambulance services for care and transportation, but would pay the entire higher amount to North Memorial's Longville service once the state approves its ALS license. Most ambulance runs from the Longville area to regional hospitals are 50 to 60 or more miles.
In other ambulance service-related action Tuesday, the board approved a written service agreement with Walker Ambulance Service and the city of Walker. The agreement calls for the county to pay 50 percent of ambulance costs to transport Cass County jail inmates by ambulance to medical services.
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