New city ambulance: No Profit and destroys private business

But so far, basic life-support ambulances - which began their full operation last month - haven't brought in any profit and are projected to cost the city nearly $1 million over the next five years to lease six rigs.

Rumpf = from 22 to 6 runs
MedCorp = from 40 to 12

"They're absorbing [business] left and right," Mr. Bage said. "It's to keep a couple of firemen from being laid off."

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The story says that patient care is improved because the first responders don't have to wait 20 minutes for a basic-life-support ambulance run to arrive.

HOWEVER - what they don't tell you is that an internal policy is the cause for the delay. For years, ambulance companies asked if they could be dispatched at the same time as the first responder - but without lights/sirens. They would arrive at the same time, or just shortly after, the fire department and then would be ready to transport when the patient was declared ready, if needed. Additionally, the ambulance companies agreed that they'd seek no reimbursement if they did this and then were not needed.

This proposal was rejected repeatedly by the fire departments in the county. WHY?

If the goal is patient care, this internal policy could have changed very easily. There would be no need for the up-front expenditure of public monies to buy/lease transport vehicles, there'd be no increased accounting for the billing for government-run transport and the existing ambulance companies would carry all the risk.

This the question everyone should have been asking...but no - we'd much rather let government continue to take over the functions already being performed well in the private sector - and then try to bill ourselves as a 'business-friendly' community.

yeah - right!

... and if so why couldn't a private company just "show up" at the scene? Doesn't the injured person have a right to chose rather to pay the fire department, or a private carrier to get them to the hospital. And the price the fire department will request to be reimbursed should become public knowledge.

Old South End Broadway

Did we have a voice in the take over?

example of the city attempting to act as a business. One only has to look to CitiFest and Erie Street Market to see how well the city manages a real business. Of course there is no risk involved since every failed effort gets bailed out through added taxation. In the most recent Citifest/Erie Market case to the tune of $55,000 dollars. I still remember when the Blade ran the story of how the city was spending forty thousand dollars per police car to keep them on the street. When this fact was brought to the city officials the comment was Gee that is a lot of money.


The solution to this is to deny the city a tax increase or 3/4% renewal next time it comes up. If they are going into competition with private businesses, then let them fund themselves the way every other private business does... by the price tag on their services. The fire department obviously doesn't need more money or more personnel if they can afford to put people on ambulance service. Vote NO on any future city taxes that come up.

By the way, the city is in competition also with the party stores/gathering halls. They have a hall for rent in the Erie Street Market. Why are they competing with private enterprise for that business?


I believe part of the incentive for governmental take over had do with improper billing by one of the companies. If I recall correctly it was Medcorp. They would charge the "customer" for a "critical run" when in reality it was not. This actually happened to my husband. He had to be transferred from one hospital to another. He was not on any monitoring, oxygen or any intrevenous support. He was in the ER at St. Lukes with an excruciating ruptured disk. St. Lukes sent him to Toledo. I couldn't handle him in the car in that much pain and fairly drugged up so an ambulance was ordered for the transfer. Imagine our surprise when we got a $650.00 bill for "lights and sirens" that took several months to get staightened out.

The real abuse by the City was done to the towing business.

"We have total control over care,"


Matt Holdridge
The Toledo Tattler

There are two reasons the city jumped into the ambulance business. The first, and most powerful, is to save firefighter jobs. The second smaller is to attempt to make money.

The TFD is bloated with firemen. We don't need as many firemen as we have and the leadership knew this. They could no longer justify the minimum staffing level 103 firemen, so they had to expand the fire department's duties into other areas. Personally, if I were mayor I would to sign a minimum staffing level of anything more than 75 and I would cut the number of firemen by 25% through attrition.

Any time the fire department has to look for additional jobs to do, there are too many of them and are an unnecessary drain on Toledo's taxpayers.

...but I believe that issue was resolved in 2006 when MedCorp's contract with the County for EMS services was not renewed for a period of time. I believe that the issue has been corrected - but I don't know the date of your problem.

"The real abuse by the City was done to the towing business."


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