First Arriving Network
First Arriving Network

Morning Lineup – March 11

Monday Morning – Let's Save Some Money!

In these times of economic recession, municipalities and governmental agencies everywhere are searching for ways to reduce spending and thus shrinking their budgets.  Sometimes you can find savings tucked away in programs that are not so obvious unless you go looking for them.  And that's what the officials in the small city of Milton, Georgia (pop. 36,000) did.

Somebody in the Milton Fire Department discovered that the city was paying a premium to Rural/Metro Ambulance for "speedy service," i.e.: response times for critical care emergencies of under 8 minutes 90% of the time.  But Milton Fire Chief Robert Edgar says that their response time is averaging more than 11 minutes.

The northern portion of Fulton County, where Milton lies, is contractually covered by Rural/Metro for emergency medical service, but the selection of the provider is made by the county without any input from the localities.  Milton, knowing that it was being underserved due to location and call volume, pays a premium of an additional $132,000 annually.  But R/M has never met their obligation, primarily because they don't stage an ambulance close enough to the city for the promised coverage.

The Alpharetta – Milton Patch recently reported:

Chief Edgar said the Milton Fire Department is getting its fire engines to the scene quickly, so residents still were being treated within six minutes of the 911 call. He said the Milton response time average is 5 minutes, 40 seconds.

"We're putting a paramedic on that medical call within six minutes," he said.

The city's firefighter/paramedics have the same advanced medical care available that paramedics on Rural/Metro ambulances can provide, the fire chief said.

"The only thing we can't do is transport the patient to a medical facility for advanced care," he said. "I think that's a little more comforting" for city residents, he said. A serious medical situation will get two paramedics dispatched to the scene from Milton.

The Milton FD operates out of three fire stations.
17 of their firefighters are paramedics, all others are EMT's.
(photo of Truck 1 from Milton City website)

Last month the city decided to lop off the $11,000 monthly subsidy for service they never recieved and notified Rural/Metro that they would discontinue the policy within a few months.  Rural/Metro has also agreed to some other provisions that will enhance their service to the area and you can read all the details of this new plan in the Alpharetta – Milton Patch HERE.

So take a tip from the folks down in the Peach State and look for the obvious for some savings.  Those little bits add up.  First though, we need to get our own equipment checked out for today.  Expanded checklist on Mondays, so we'd better get started.  I'll see that the Bunn-O-Matic is filled when we get back to the day room and start talking about those overlooked places to save some money.  See you there in a little while.

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