Hales Corners — The price for ambulance rides provided by the village Fire Department is going up.
The Village Board voted Sept. 9 to increase basic life support ambulance services by $75 per ride. Residents were previously charged $425 and will now pay $500 per trip. Non-residents will pay $600, up from $525.
The amount charged per mile also is increasing, from $14 to $14.50.
People with Medicare and Medicaid will not see a fee increase, as the amount municipalities are allowed to charge these users is federally regulated.
The department hasn't had a fee increase since October, 2010, Hales Corners Fire Chief Michael Jankowski said. In that time fuel costs and medical equipment costs have increased, as has the level of service Hales Corners emergency medical technicians provide. The fee structure offsets those increases.
The increase only affects basic life support calls, those calls that require minimal medical care at the scene or en route to a hospital. A person with a broken leg, for instance, would be considered a BLS case in most instances. More urgent cases, such as a person who is experiencing chest pains, are responded to by paramedics from the Franklin Fire Department.
But among Hales Corners' EMTs, the services the department can provide have expanded in recent years. EMTs are now trained as Advanced EMTs, allowing them to administer IVs, clear airways and provide a higher level of service than they were doing in 2010, when they were trained at the basic EMT level.
Last year Hales Corners' ambulance transportation fee brought in $200,000. The fee increase is projected to increase that total by $4,632, Jankowski said. That revenue benefits the general fund.
"We're not out to make money," Jankowski said. "This is really just covering costs and some of the new skills that we'll be doing."
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