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Paid staff would help cover rescue calls in western half of county

by Tom Chillemi

The proposed 2017-2018 (FY18) Middlesex County budget includes a $500,000 increase in the cost of emergency services. The money will be used by the county to pay emergency rescue workers as needed to provide around-the-clock rescue squad coverage, primarily in the central and upper parts of Middlesex.

On the revenue side, the budget estimates the county will receive $189,000 in revenue by billing insurance companies when a person is transported by these paid emergency rescue workers. So the anticipated net cost to the county for hiring professional first-responders will be about $311,000.

Following a public hearing on March 7 on the matter, the Middlesex Board of Supervisors (BOS) approved an ordinance to establish “Emergency Medical Services Transportation Fees.”

The Central Middlesex Volunteer Rescue Squad (CMVRS) in Urbanna has struggled recently to meet demands for service. The ordinance authorizes and directs Middlesex Emergency Services Director Mark Nugent, or designee, “to establish applicable policies, procedures, rules, and regulations to administer this program, including, but not limited to, payment standards for those persons who demonstrate economic hardship, as permitted by applicable law and standards for the collection of fees.”

Last week Nugent told supervisors that emergency services are always provided regardless of a person’s ability to pay, and those individuals without insurance would not be billed.

Billing would be done through a third-party billing company.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newsstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 03.15.2017

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