New ambulance contract signed

A Mountain LifeFlight crew will remain stationed in Indian Valley as the ambulance service provider under a new five-year contract approved Tuesday, Dec. 7, by the Indian Valley Ambulance Service Authority board of directors.

Requests for proposals were sent out to four area providers—two declined and one, Mountain LifeFlight, replied with interest.

Its proposal was given on the condition that ambulance authority directors remove the no out-of-pocket expense language from the joint powers agreement between the Indian Valley Health Care and Community Services districts.

The promise of no out-of-pocket expense for the ambulance service was a major part of the 1995 campaign.

That promise was put in writing several times, in brochures, advertisements and other materials, including the voter information pamphlet published by Plumas County.

Inside was an argument in favor of the Measure “A” signed by Indian Valley Fire Chief Jim Hamblin, paramedic Robert Stone and attorney Bill Kearns.

Two-thirds of voters approved the tax only after a second vote. It would take another such vote to terminate the tax, either that or dissolution of the authority altogether.

The authority remains intact and directors are earnest about their desire to maintain a locally stationed, advanced life-support ambulance in the valley, instead of forcing residents to utilize an ambulance stationed at least 30 minutes away.

The special tax property owners have been paying for more than a decade can no longer provide that out-of-pocket assurance.

“That economic situation is no longer feasible,” chairman Guy McNett said. “We’ve had it that way for the past 13 years.”

Instead, the tax funds, about $60,000 per year, will be used to subsidize the service and guarantee an ambulance and crew are stationed locally.

The Indian Valley Ambulance Service Authority was created by a joint powers agreement between the Indian Valley health and community services districts.

The five-member board is comprised of two directors from each organization and one member of the public that the other directors appoint.

Members of both the healthcare and community services boards approved changes to the agreement, which deleted paragraph six that included the text with the no out-of-pocket requirement in it.

Because directors have been asked many questions about this change and what it means to residents, they will soon conduct a public information campaign, including newspaper ads, brochures and townhall meetings with residents and ambulance company representatives.

Residents who still want the surety of a reduced fee or no-fee ambulance service are encouraged to stop by the ambulance quarters on Main Street in Greenville to ask questions or pick up informative brochures about a membership program the company offers.

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