DAVIS, W.Va. (WBOY) — Officials with the Tucker County Ambulance Authority held a meeting Tuesday at the Davis Fire Hall to discuss the impact of the excess levy that is November’s election ballot.
The proposed excess levy is for four years with each year capped at $401,000 and those officials with the EMS service said billing alone does not cover the cost of services. Also, EMS officials added having two ambulance houses that are staffed around the clock because they have 420 square miles of territory they service in the county, and they stated minutes are precious when treating a patient.
“The difficult problem is, it seems just as soon as a rig leaves the station there is a second call that comes in. You don’t want to be that second call, you want to know okay that one of the other ambulances are going to be staffed waiting to go,” said Dennis Filler, president of the Tucker County Ambulance Authority. “If I cannot maintain a workforce that is trained, certificated, up to date and current that is hard to provide that service.”
Passage of the excess levy gives Tucker County Ambulance Authority secure funding to be able to hire paramedics, EMTs, and staff two ambulance facilities in the county.
“The levy, think of it as being an insurance policy. We have to have equipped staff at what we call ALS capability, life-saving capability, to be able to answer that first call. And the levy allows us to make sure that we have the amount of staffing that we need necessary to do that and then be able to handle that second call. Because whenever we leave the station and pick up a victim for medical treatment we may be out of county normally for three hours and that is a minimum, okay, it can be longer than that depending upon the situation,” Filler said.
EMS officials added that when getting to the scene of an emergency minutes matter and that the passage of the excess levy means that they would have the funds to be able to better be prepared to treat patients.