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Johnson County Ambulance Service requests more funding

BY AUDREY ROEN | NOVEMBER 29, 2011 7:20 AM

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The Johnson County Ambulance Service last purchased an ambulance during the current fiscal year.

 

Some Johnson County officials are skeptical about recent requests from the Johnson County Ambulance Service for replacement equipment, a move that would further increase county spending.

Steve Spenler, the director of Johnson County Ambulance Services, requested one new ambulance as well as other emergency equipment during a meeting Monday. The new vehicle would cost $130,000, one new laptop at $2,800, and four new cardiac monitors costing a total of $105,284.

The Ambulance Service purchased its sixth vehicle during the current fiscal year.

Spenler said the service's current equipment is outdated. But some supervisors say the county cannot keep up with growing budgetary requests.

"The ambulance's demands are outgrowing our budget," said Supervisor Janelle Rettig. "The subsidy this year compared to last year has increased a substantial amount, and that is disconcerting."

Rettig, however, was unable to give the exact increase in the subsidy over previous years.

Supervisors said officials are concerned the Ambulance Service is not doing enough to use existing equipment and to look for other ways to raise funds.

"People's lives depend on these vehicles," said Supervisor Rod Sullivan, "We're going to have to play it vehicle by vehicle."

Spenler said a grant proposal has been sent to the Federal Emergency Management Agency requesting assistance in purchasing the cardiac monitors, which could lower the support Johnson County officials would have to provide.

"We should know anytime between now and the next few months if we've received the grant," he said.

Spenler said the request is routine and noted that officials like to replace equipment every eight years.

Sullivan requested the Ambulance Service use such fundraising tactics as bake sales and pancake breakfasts to help pay for equipment.

Supervisors say the decision to fund new ambulance equipment will be made public in late February to early March, but stressed that public safety remains a high priority.


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