Old Drum Network
An Alternative News Source for Warrensburg and Johnson County Missouri

Other Taxing Issues - Ambulance District

Candidacy Statement of Principles
for Subdistrict 5 of the Ambulance Board

I am a candidate for the Subdistrict 5 position on the board of the Johnson County Ambulance District, representing Washington Township (Knob Noster), Montserrat Township, and parts of Jefferson and Grover Townships. I live in the southwest corner of Montserrat Township but am generally familiar with the entire area.


Philosophy: I believe that under current governmental restraints there is no way an ambulance service can operate without a local subsidy. The challenge for the ambulance board is to have an effective ambulance service for the smallest subsidy possible. Some of the options we must consider are:
    Who will operate the ambulances:
  • A great deal of efficiency is gained by the cities having dual-qualified firemen/EMTs, so this should be the most cost-effective method. If this option is chosen, the board must be careful to ensure that a proper allocation of costs is done by the cities and is verified by independent financial review. While the cities should not be subsidizing ambulance service outside their jurisdiction, neither should non-residents be subsidizing normal city operations (in excess of what we pay toward them in sales tax). One additional advantage is that the cities already have the required operating authority.
  • Another option is to contract with a private company. This solution could cost more because of start-up costs and the need for single-purpose employees, but it would remain a viable option if satisfactory agreement could not be reached with the cities.
  • The third option is to operate the district directly. This is least favored because it would cost by far the most. In addition to equipment and labor, there would be substantial management overhead costs in addition to any pro-rata share under option 1.
    Where should ambulances be placed?
  • Obviously, Warrensburg and Holden are central to the county. It would be desirable to place one in Knob Noster because of population density factors, and is certainly something that needs to be analyzed. This would involve costs in addition to those now incurred by Warrensburg & Holden. If we contract with the cities, perhaps Knob Noster could operate an ambulance as a sub-contractor for Warrensburg.
  • I do not believe it is possible to place ambulances in other parts of the county where there are no full-time professional fire departments.
    How much money should be raised? Philosophically, we must raise the minimum amount to operate the service. What this amount is depends on the method selected above.
  • If we contract with the cities, we must negotiate based on an optimum staffing level and reasonable wage rates. His will require a deep look in to city books, to determine what the difference in staffing level and wage rates would be. An equitable adjustment of city overhead costs could also be considered. Ownership of the ambulances themselves is an additional issue that would affect costs, as is the ability to receive payments from users or their insurers.
The decisions made by this initial board are critical to the overall ambulance district. The issues and solutions are complex. It is imperative that we elect people who can think and analyze independently and who are not wedded to government as the final answer to all our problems.
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