Vicksburg officials consider raising ambulance fares – The Vicksburg Post

Citing the rising cost of running the city’s ambulance service, Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. appointed a committee to work out an interlocal agreement with the Warren County Board of Supervisors regarding the cost of the provision of an ambulance service in the city and could.

Flaggs appointed the committee of Fire Chief Craig Danczyk, Deputy Chiefs Derrick Stamps and Trey Martin, City Attorney Kim Nailor and City Finance and Accounting Manager Doug Whittington to determine the costs and agreement and make a recommendation to Flaggs before August 1st.

City and county councils each begin budget discussions in August and must have a budget in place by September 15.

Ambulance and rescue services are provided by the Vicksburg Fire Department, which has provided ambulance services since 1969.

The last interlocal agreement on ambulance services between the city and the county was approved in 2018 and continued through 2020.

Under the agreement, the county pays $280,000 a year for emergency services such as the Vicksburg Fire Department’s rescue service, hazmat response and dive team for help cover the costs of providing services outside the city limits. The $280,000 is paid quarterly with ambulance bills.

The charge for ambulance service is $400.

“Gerrands cost us – gas prices – and we are asked to provide services that cost us, such as care at nursing homes (for transfers to doctors or hospitals),” Flaggs said after the meeting. “What I really want to do is give the oversight board time to start (working on its budget). We did not work out an agreement with the last administration.

“We want them to know when preparing their budget that they anticipate an increase in costs,” he said.

Flaggs said he hasn’t spoken with any Warren County supervisors about the possible increase in service fees, but Danczyk has. Danczyk said he briefly discussed a potential raise with District 1 Supervisor Ed Herring, who represents supervisors on the E911 board.

“I just want to put it (the potential increase) out there so the public knows it’s costing us more,” Flaggs said.

“We haven’t increased billing in over five years and we all know that everything has increased tremendously (in price) over the last three years; these are just factors that increase operating costs,” Danczyk said.

He said the cost of some items used in the ambulance had increased by “100 to 300 per cent”. In addition, he said, the cost of gasoline and vehicles has risen and some vendors have placed restrictions on purchasing certain items in bulk.

The city’s new ambulances, he said, cost nearly $500,000.

“What we’re hoping to do is get together and make some subtle tweaks to try to get it (fresh) to a current model. I think it will be pretty good,” Danczyk said. “We are only in the initial stages of developing a proposal.”