South Jacksonville Fire Proposes Budget for Ambulance Service, Added 94K Worth of Equipment Via Grants, Fundraising

By Jeremy Coumbes on October 1, 2021 at 4:00pm

There was much talk about public protection during last night’s South Jacksonville Committee of the Whole meeting.

The Board of Trustees heard from guest speaker Marcy Flores of MEDI Claims who previously performed medical billing duties for the village when the ambulance was in operation.

Flores gave the board ideas on avenues they could use will billing to help make an ambulance service more sustainable financially that may not have been used in the past. She says the village is still current with Medicare but it may not be very much longer.

Reapplying for medicare billing recognition would cost the village approximately $560.00 in fees to restart the program. South Jacksonville Fire Chief Richard Evans Jr. says he and Flores have been having discussions on the village adjusting the rates up to the level ambulances services charge in the surrounding area.

Evans later presented the board with a proposed budget for the operation of an ambulance for the start of next year. He says it’s a service he hopes to see back in the village soon.

My goal would be to be operational by January first, so therefore I gave the Board a budget tonight for those four months we would be in operation. Part of that includes money for an ambulance and salaries. Most of the equipment we already have from the last ambulance and all the medical calls we currently run.”

Evans also updated the Board on new equipment the fire department has acquired over the last eight months. The equipment was on hand at the meeting. Evans says thanks to a lot of hard work to procure grants along with local fundraising efforts, the equipment came with heavy price tags, that very little of which was paid for by South Jacksonville taxpayers.

We’ve received two Zoll cardiac monitors that were thirty-two thousand apiece, three new Zoll AED’s that were sixteen hundred dollars apiece, a Lucas chest compression device that was sixteen thousand five hundred dollars, and a Bullard thermal imaging camera that was eight thousand, three hundred and ninety-four dollars.

All of that was made available through grants and donations through fundraisers we’ve held. The grand total for all that equipment was ninety-four thousand, two hundred and three dollars, and the cost to the village was seven hundred and one dollars and eighty-two cents.”

Evans says the department is very thankful for the new equipment that will serve the village well at a minimum of expense to the village. He says fundraisers like the pork chop and rib-eye sandwich cookouts were able to raise the more than $8,000 needed to acquire the thermal imaging camera that will help the department fight fires more safely and effectively