Beginning Feb. 1, 2010 the Village of Sherburne Ambulance will bill for transports of patients to the hospital to offset the costs of future paid staff. The funds generated from billing will be used for personnel costs only, while the money generated from tax collection will continue to pay for regular operational costs such as vehicle maintenance, equipment, fuel, etc. There are several factors that have led to the need for paid staff and patient billing.
The biggest dilemma facing Sherburne Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is a lack of volunteers willing and able to complete the required training to provide advanced life support (ALS) during 911 emergencies. The time required to become a Paramedic is 2 years of full-time training, clinical experience, and testing. While many people are interested in becoming a volunteer to help their community, the task of becoming a Paramedic is often far too daunting as a volunteer. With that said, Sherburne is very fortunate to have six advanced life support providers as volunteers who run a total of nearly 500 calls for EMS annually. The problem lies in day-time response with volunteers committed to full-time jobs, often outside of the Sherburne area. After an exhausting review of the problems and potential solutions, the EMS members concluded the only answer is to prepare to place paid ALS providers in the station during the day-time periods when volunteers are at a minimum. Clearly when incurring the costs of paid staff, a budget increase is required thus the need existed for billing insurance companies and patients for transports.