It’s time to study a Public option for ambulance service in Sioux Falls

Yesterday during the Sioux Falls City Informational Council meeting they discussed extending Paramedics Plus contract (or whatever they are calling themselves these days – Look at the INSERT COMPANY NAME line on this contract: contract-draft. They have changed their name so many times they don’t even know what their name will be when they sign the contract. Good Grief). While a 6 year contract wouldn’t be such a bad idea, it is unfortunate that we signing the contract with them;

For instance, you could have to wait a while for your ambulance — in some cases up to 90 minutes.

I think a 6 year extension would give the city time to explore and implement a public ambulance service, but I’m wondering if we should just leave it as a 5 year instead. When Mayor TenHaken was on Patrick Lalley’s show not to long ago he expressed that he may want to look at the public option down the road though people in his administration have said they don’t want to. I think if they started studying it RIGHT now, they could easily implement it in 3-5 years.

During the informational some kept trying to peddle the flat out falsehood that we are NOT subsidizing PP. We are. As taxpayers we are staffing our fire department to show up to these emergencies without reimbursement from PP. Councilor Pat Starr said just that during the meeting yesterday. Councilor Erickson tried to deflect Starr’s testimony by saying it would cost MILLIONS to run a public ambulance service. While the initial capital cost would be high, after it’s implementation we would be able to bill patients for the service and get a heavy subsidy. As of right now we are showing up to these emergencies and assisting a private for profit ambulance service and getting NO reimbursement. A public ambulance service would also be more affordable, faster, more reliable and be ran by qualified city union fire fighters and EMTs. For the public good it just makes more sense.


#1 D@ily Spin on 10.10.18 at 3:37 pm

“in some cases … 90 minutes”. Is this an ambulance or a hearse?

#2 The Guy from Guernsey on 10.11.18 at 7:18 am

“Look at the INSERT COMPANY NAME line on this contract …” and “They have changed their name so many times they don’t even know what their name will be when they sign the contract.”

Exactly like doing business with Norm Drake, Paul Cink, Larry Canfield and Aaron Hultgren. Leave the contract language “open”, so as to accomodate their agile business practices.