Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Service To The County

City: County must pay more for services

Published: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 1:30 AM CDT
The City of Laredo has known for four months that its $600,000 fire services contract with the county would change radically due to financial constraints, but the details of a new contract have remained hazy.

At a City Council meeting Monday, city officials agreed that negotiations will only be constructive if they sit down with county officials before making any in-house decisions — but to get the ball rolling, they will present two possible suggestions.

City council threw around ideas at Monday's meeting as far as what kind of services to provide to the people outside of the city limits.

One idea was to bring in private ambulance companies to help transport people in need of medical attention to local hospitals.  And the City of Laredo would provide fire protection.  The fire department ambulances would be left to cover emergencies within the city limits.

 There was concern, however, that private ambulances wouldn't be able to provide the top-notch service that the Laredo Fire Dept. offers.  Most ambulance providers locally just transfer people to and from hospitals or doctors' offices.  If I'm not mistaken they don't give medications that are necessary in a cardiac emergency situation.

If somebody is having a stroke or a heart attack, time is of the essence.  There are a lot of paramedics that work for ambulance companies on their own time.  They possess the skills needed to attend to any emergency.  The only drawback is what limits they have with their respective employer.  It could be that their responsibilities can be expanded, seeing as how some ambulance companies have been owned by doctors.

Hopefully the city and the county can come to some beneficial agreement.  The services that are agreed upon will greatly affect some of us in the future.  If we are traveling to or from the city, and are involved in an accident, we might have a different system in place, one that hopefully can provide us with the care we need.

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