Most residents of Wright County are aware of the proposed Wright County EMS System plan. Before the EMS Funding Special Election scheduled for August 7, 2018, it’s important to be informed about the goals of this partnership.
Many wonder why funding for emergency medical services (EMS) is needed at all. Unfortunately, the cost to provide 24/7 staffing for 911 emergencies is more than the reimbursements received by insurance companies or payments from the patients who have received EMS services. Additionally, there has been an increase in staffing cost with a decrease in volunteerism for coverage. To offset this occurring deficit, departments must forgo new equipment and ongoing staff training.
Funds from the county-wide property tax will stabilize the needed staffing and provide additional training and equipment for EMS providers. For the safety of residents, and the long-term success of the EMS services, it is important to supply proper equipment and training to EMS staff.
The special election funding is vital to maintain independent services within each community currently being served. Wright County has already seen the loss of the Dows Ambulance Service and cannot afford to see a loss of any other services.
For the citizens of Wright County the biggest benefit of supporting this tax proposal is to continue to have EMS services available for emergency situations. EMS services are not currently funded from a government level as an essential service, and are not required to be provided by any community in the county. For the safety of all Wright County residents, this funding will ensure the continued existence of local EMS services.
The proposed EMS funding will come via a voter-approved property tax assessment to the citizens of Wright County. The assessed values and estimated tax rates on the chart below are for the first year of a five-year plan. This EMS funding option requires voter-approval every five years. One way to think of it is like purchasing home or car insurance; paying for coverage with the hope of never needing to use it. When looked at this from this perspective, it is a very small price to pay to ensure continued ambulance coverage for Wright County.
The Wright County EMS System Advisory Council has scheduled a series of public meetings to provide information on the current EMS situation in Wright County and to share details of the proposed EMS System plan. The presentation will include information on how the Special EMS Funding Election will benefit the local ambulance services. Each meeting will begin at 6 p.m. on the dates and at the locations listed below:
• Monday, July 9th – Clarion Public Library
• Tuesday, July 17th – Eagle Grove Public Library
• Thursday, July 19th – Belmond City Hall
• Tuesday, July 24th – Dows Community Room