Ambulance Transfer Still on Schedule

By Alan Van Zandt |

Published 03/11 2014 12:15AM

Updated 03/11 2014 12:48AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Though there is still a long list of details to take care of, everything still appears on schedule for a transfer of ambulance service in Buchanan County on July 1.

At that time, Heartland Health will turn over management of ambulance service to the county.

Last summer, Heartland announced it would discontinue coordination of ambulances in the county because they were losing too much money on the service.

After months of research, Buchanan County officials announced they would take over ambulance service.

Through the transition, the county will lease ambulance employees from the hospital for the first 18 months. However, starting July 1, the Heartland name will come off of the ambulances and a new REMSA Ambulance Service logo will go on.

REMSA stands for Regional Emergency Medical Services Authority. A new REMSA board of directors is being created to oversee the authority.

"A status quo type of service," said presiding commissioner R.T. Turner. "We want it to be as seamless as we can."

Heartland staff say many details need to be worked out before the July 1 deadline.

"Everything from contracts to supplies to medications to caregivers," said Janie Shumaker, associate administrator of urgent care for Heartland. "We will look at it all down to the last detail to make sure there is absolutely zero disruption of services."

Funding for the county-run ambulance service will be provided through a 1/4 sales tax passed by voters. That tax is expected to generate approximately $2.8 million per year.

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