The Waukesha Fire Department will soon have a new ambulance.
The Common Council Tuesday night approved spending up to $200,000 for a new ambulance because of increasing maintenance expenses on its oldest three ambulances. The Waukesha Fire Department has spent more than $30,000 maintaining the three oldest ambulances during the past 18 months.
Additionally, if the department purchases the ambulance in 2012, it is expected to cost $8,000 less than it would next year. The funding for the ambulance will come out of the 2013 budget but will be purchased in 2012.
“There could be some cost savings if this is move ahead now instead of waiting until 2013,” said Finance Committee Chairman Joe Pieper.
Ambulance Fees to Increase
In addition to the ambulance purchase, the council also approved increasing ambulance fees. The last ambulance fee increase was completed in 2010 and the next ambulance fee increase will be two-tiered.
The first fee increase will go into effect Sept. 1 and the second increase begins March 1. The majority of the fees will increase by about $50 in September and another $50 in March; however, those increases vary on service. A graph of the ambulance fee increases is included in this article.
Mileage will increase from $14 per mile to $20 per mile in September. The mileage then increases to $24 a mile in March.
“The Fire Department continues to experience increases in fees associated with providing emergency medical services to the community,” said Acting Fire Chief Steve Howard in a memo to the Finance Committee. “Costs for disposable supplies and drugs also continue to rapidly increase, in addition to the need for the replacement of ambulances that are part of our vehicle fleet.”
Alderman Terry Thieme cast the lone vote against increasing the ambulance fees.
“It can be construed as a double tax, you are billed on your taxes for the Fire Department cost and (then) the ambulance cost,” Thieme said. “If you are the unfortunate soul that has to be transported, you are going to absorb those costs.”
Voting to increase the ambulance fees were:
- Eric Payne
- Chris Hernandez
- Adam Jankowski
- John Kalblinger
- Steve Johnson
- Roger Patton
- Rick Hastings
- Joan Francoeur
- Duane Paulson
Not present at the meeting were:
- Paul Ybarra
- Vance Skinner
- Andy Reiland
- Kathleen Cummings