Warren County Supervisors approve new ambulance rates

Published 9:57 am Wednesday, August 17, 2022

The Warren County Board of Supervisors on Monday approved rate changes for ambulance services through the Vicksburg Fire Department.

The proposal was the result of findings from a committee formed by the city of Vicksburg to assess the fee structure of ambulances operated by the Vicksburg Fire Department. The ambulance service in Vicksburg has been a part of the department since 1969.

This marks the first increase in ambulance rates since 2017.

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During his July 11 presentation to the Board of Supervisors, Vicksburg Fire Chief Danczyk highlighted some of the rising costs the Department is facing.

“We all know gas costs $5, $4.50 a gallon. And a year ago, two years ago, three years ago, it did not,” Danczyk said during the presentation. “The cost of vehicles has increased, and that includes emergency vehicles. So we’re paying more for vehicles, we’re paying more for supplies.

“And then one of the most important pieces of the puzzle is the labor; we have to have a skilled workforce,” he added. “And that includes paramedics, full time (and) part-time, EMTs, firefighters, (and) administrative staff, to support all this.”

He also mentioned on July 11 that some of the medical supplies needed for the ambulance service have increased as much as 300 percent.

The rate changes are as follows:

  • Ambulance responses outside city limits: $500 ($100 increase from $400)
  • BLS (basic life support) Non-emergency: $350 ($25 increase from $325)
  • BLS (basic life support) Emergency: $450 ($50 increase from $400)
  • ALS (advanced life support) Emergency: $1,000 ($375 increase from $625)

While there may be an increase in costs for some customers, individuals on Medicare and Medicaid would not see an increase in fees since the upper limit of their costs are legally set.

Mileage rates would also not be increased for taxpayers and would stay at the current $15 per mile rate.

District 3 Supervisor Shawn Jackson inquired as to whether the rate changes would equate to a pay increase for VFD Ambulance personnel.

However, Board Attorney Blake Teller specified during Monday’s meeting that pay raises were not factored into this particular increase.

The recommendations also included an increase in Warren County costs for rescue responses outside the city limits of Vicksburg. The annual flat rate paid by the county for the availability of rescue units would increase from $280,000 to $300,000.

The board voted unanimously in favor of the rate change.