Indiana County Pushes for Ambulance Dispatch Merger

Local dispatch agency resistant to possible merger into city-county entity


 
 

Vivian Sade, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette | | Tuesday, July 16, 2013


The Allen County commissioners are asking whether a local ambulance service should investigate merging with city-county dispatch for efficiency and a possible cost-savings.

The service's executive director says no merger is necessary.

Gary Booher, executive director of the Three Rivers Ambulance Authority, said Friday his dispatching service should stay separate from the city-county operation.

TRAA dispatch is at 525 Hayden St. on the city's south side while the newly merged Fort Wayne-Allen County 911 dispatch center is downtown in the Rousseau Center, formerly the City-County Building.

County Commissioner Nelson Peters said the county has worked hard on the city-county dispatch merger.

"Given the efficiencies we've found, I'm wondering if there is an opportunity to work with TRAA," Peters said, asking whether the alternative could be considered or investigated.

"I don't see it speeding up response times or lowering our costs," Booher said. "I see a model that is working well, and sometimes we should leave things alone."

Three Rivers Ambulance Authority is an appointed government agency that chooses which company provides emergency medical services, oversees the company's performance and bills patients.

Commissioner Therese Brown said that while she would not want to compromise public safety, she agreed with Peters that Booher might investigate the possibility of a merger.

"We are stewards of tax dollars and while I realize that TRAA is not a recipient of tax dollars, that could change down the road," Brown said.

According to the TRAA website, three primary service answering points for police and fire - Fort Wayne, Allen County and New Haven - receive 911 calls initially and forward all medical calls to TRAA dispatch, which handles about 34,000 calls a year.

Booher said that after operating in the red for several years during the recession, things have taken a turn in the past two years, with TRAA operating in the black.

Ambulance runs are up, and so are the number of people carrying insurance, Booher said.

"In 2012 we averaged 64 runs a day and that is up this year to 66 runs a day," Booher said.

Even though TRAA does not receive any city, county or state funding, Peters thinks a possible merger with the city-county dispatch merits consideration.

"Even though our dispatch centers are different, that does not mean we cannot come together and make it work," Peters said.



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Mechanical CPR is Producing Resuscitation Results Beyond Expectations

Discover why clinical studies are finding mechanical CPR just as effective as optimally-performed CPR.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

New York First Responders Take Extraordinary Steps to Help Residents

Snow causes fire and EMS crews to go beyond call of duty.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Raw Video: Explosion and Fire at California Business

Over a dozen hurt in Santa Paula blaze.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Four Workers Killed at Texas Chemical Plant

Five employees exposed to methyl mercaptan in La Porte.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Worker Killed in North Carolina Bridge Collapse

A fatal construction site collapse occurred in Wake County.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Plane Crashes into Chicago Home

Pilot reported engine trouble after takeoff.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Switzerland Landslide Kills Two, Injures Four

Slide hits residential building near Lugano.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

World Trade Center Rescue

Technical rescue work is done at nation’s tallest skyscraper.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >