Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rescue Squads to start charging for services in Augusta County.

The Augusta County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance on Wednesday, May 13 that would allow the county rescue squads to charge for services. The reality is that the county will be charging the residents for rescue services and then they will distribute the funds back to the rescue squads and other emergency services.

Captain Bobby Snyder, of the Stuarts Draft Rescue Squad, stood before the board last evening and questioned the Supervisors about how the collected funds would be dispersed. He stated that there was no detail available and was worried that, due to charging residents for services, donations would fall short and money dispersed from the charges, back to the squads wouldn’t cover the difference. Read the rest of the story at the Augusta Conservative.


  1. Yet another shining example of the train wreck that ensues whenever gov tries to get involved in things that aren't there area of expertise (pretty much everything) and there right to be concerned about the donations. Once people think that the rescue squads are part of local gov, they won't donate. Disagree? Name one person you know that willingly (not taxes) gives money to the gov?

  2. I am unsure about this.
    I see it as paying for a service. If you can,then do it. If you can't, so be it.Any money collected should go directly into EMS budget.

    We pay for police in our taxes. We already pay for FD in taxes. Lots of Ambulance service is covered by county. People who have insurance are generally covered for Ambulance service.

    The volunteers are volunteering because they want to help. They still can help. Volunteering keeps the taxes lower. If we can keep the taxes even lower by collecting insurance $ from those that are covered, why not?
    Explain why you think I am wrong? Maybe I am missing something.

  3. David talked with the EMTs after the meeting and intends to follow through with them about this issue. Many of them are against charging patients ... others are concerned folks won't call an ambulance when needed ... others question how the money will be distributed.

    As with most issues, I listen to those who are the most involved and, in this case, that would be the EMTs.

  4. Phil,
    I was a member of a rural county rescue squad both as a driver for ambulance service and as a diver for the water rescue element. I've also served as a law enforcement officer in that same area as well as another, one was Augusta County the other being somewhat similar which is why I feel that I may give some addtional thought on my previous comment and address yours as well. Volunteer Rescue workers have a very deep pride in what they do, in some cases much more so than those who are paid to do the same jobs. Volunteers are frequently risking there own lives to save others with no paycheck regardless of the outcome of the rescue and in many cases carying out these rescues with personally owned gear. As an LEO I've been on hundreds if not thousands of rescue calls over the years for a variety of reasons and many of those people either don't have, have inadequate, or simply have too much pride to get into a situation where they have to talk about the insurance they don't have. Many of these people will not call 911 if they beleive they will be billed for that service. They will rationalize the level of there sickness / injury or try to transport themselves to the hospital which is some cases creates bigger and or additional problems. The fund raising angle is yeat another problem in that many members of the community donate to their respective fire and rescue squads as a matter of principle through regular donations, bingo attendance, and in some cases through their last will and testimant. I beleive that if it becomes a billed service, these donations will shrink considerably because nobody I know donates to government (willingly) and I fear people will beleive that charging through the county will indicate gov agency status. There is also the obvious issue of dispersment of the collected funds and we all know that gov isn't that good at such things. If all that is collected doensn't actually go toe the squads who did the work and the donation start to shrink, well even Timmy G can figure that one out = reduced patient care!

    I hope this rant puts some light on your concerns.

  5. Thanks for info on subject. As you know, I came from an area where we were charged. But there were also private for profit companies, hospital dispatched ambulances, and volunteers.