SHERBURNE – Starting the first day of February, the Village of Sherburne ambulance began billing patients for its volunteer services with the hope that by sometime this summer, the municipality will begin hiring paid staff for its medical crew, according to Mayor William Acee.
The Village of Sherburne decided to make the transition to a municipal-based ambulance service from a volunteer one in February of 2009, citing potential EMS man power shortages.
The transition will allow Sherburne to pursue a revenue recovery system, which will eventually help them to hire part-time or full-time personnel during difficult-to-cover daytime hours.
“Right now, the goal is to accumulate funds, then hire someone,” said Acee.
On Oct. 19, the Village of Sherburne Board passed a unanimous resolution to separate the ambulance service from the fire department, because state regulations prohibit billing services from being part of a volunteer fire organization. Since October, the Village of Sherburne Emergency Medical Service (EMS) has operated independently in anticipation of billing patients, explained Acee.
“I agree that we need to start charging those who use the ambulance and I agree that we can’t ask the volunteers for more daytime coverage. However, I feel we can provide a quicker response time and do it on a more cost effective basis without adding more cost to taxpayers by adding additional village employees. As we go forward, we will be watching this cost,” he said.