Ind. city considers tripling ambulance fees to avoid losing money

The city has not adjusted its ambulance fees since 2007


Chas Reilly
The Times, Munster, Ind.

LAKE STATION, Ind. — It’s been several years since the city adjusted its ambulance fees, and a drastic increase has been proposed so Lake Station can avoid losing money through its emergency medical services.

Information from the clerk-treasurer’s office shows ambulance fees adopted in 2007 set the basic life support charge at $400, advanced life support level one at $500 and advanced life support level two at $700.

A proposed ordinance would increase the fees to $1,550 for basic life support, $1,850 for advanced life support level one and $2,100 for advanced life support level two.

The City Council recently discussed the possible rate changes, but the panel tabled taking action on the matter so they could have more time to review the situation.

“It’s pretty important,” Councilman Rick Long said about the ambulance charges. “We’re absolutely losing money.”

Private ambulance companies had been providing emergency medical service in Lake Station in recent years, but the city reestablished its own ambulance service in January of 2019, Long said.

“And our fees are the lowest in Northwest Indiana for our ambulance services,” Long said.

He said the city is now “trying to catch up” because there have been no ambulance fee adjustments in years.

Lake Station’s ordinance committee in February began reviewing potential fee adjustments with Fire Chief Chuck Fazekas, but COVID-19 prevented the city from moving forward with any changes at that time because no meetings were conducted while City Hall was closed to the public.

The council is expected to have a work session to review the fee adjustments before the ordinance returns to the panel for a vote.

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©2020 The Times (Munster, Ind.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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