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EDITORIAL FROM THE AEGIS | January 3, 2013
For many years, the officers of the various private volunteer fire and ambulance companies that provide a valuable public service to Harford County have strenuously resisted any financial or strategic oversight by the Harford County government. This is not to say that the volunteer companies are somehow rogue with regard to the very high level of services they provide. The ambulance service is under the strict supervision of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, and the fire side of the volunteer companies is under similar strict training regimens for the people who respond to calls.
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NEWS
January 9, 2002
The county firefighters association is expected to release $75,000 in county funds this week to Reese's fire department -- money the association withheld during a long dispute over billing for ambulance service. Carroll County Volunteer Firemen's Associated voted Monday night to reinstate the Reese company's funds, which have been withheld since July 1, 2000. The association, which represents Carroll's 14 volunteer fire companies, pays each company with ambulance service $12,500 per quarter.
NEWS
By Robert Guy Matthews and Robert Guy Matthews,SUN STAFF | May 6, 1998
Fed up with city residents who refuse to pay the required fee for calling an ambulance, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke wants to spend more than $600,000 to hire a private company to track down the scofflaws.But City Council members are fighting the mayor, saying that he is wasting money and is secretly trying to turn over ambulance service to private management.The Board of Estimates, which is controlled by the mayor, is expected to vote today on whether to hire the private company to collect fees.
NEWS
By Robert Guy Matthews and Robert Guy Matthews,SUN STAFF | February 6, 1997
In a move that has infuriated and frightened emergency medical workers, Baltimore is considering turning over ambulance service to private management.Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke has instructed the fire chief to explore whether private companies can transport and provide quick emergency medical assistance to patients at a lower cost than the $8 million the city spends each year."All I'm doing is studying the issue and gathering information," Schmoke said.Schmoke said he expects proposals to go out within 30 to 60 days, and a final answer could come 60 days after that.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel and Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF | July 28, 2000
Local governments that charge for ambulance service keep their immunity from most malpractice-type lawsuits against paramedics, the state's highest court ruled yesterday in a Baltimore case closely watched by area municipalities. In a split decision, the majority of the Court of Appeals held that rescue workers are immune from the lawsuits. The possibility that governments might lose their immunity by making patients pay for paramedics has been a key factor in keeping many jurisdictions from charging for ambulance service.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF | July 3, 1996
The Baltimore Fire Department is proposing to more than quadruple the fee it charges to transport patients to hospitals, hoping the extra money will pay for new ambulances and faster service.The proposal would raise the $100 transport fee, established seven years ago, to $475. It is backed by Fire Chief Herman Williams Jr., the Board of Fire Commissioners and the union representing firefighters, and is expected to be presented to the Board of Estimates next week.Hampered by an increased number of emergency calls and inadequate staffing that forced some firehouses to close on a rotating basis, fire union officials say more money is needed to maintain an adequate level of care.
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Editorial from The Aegis | April 10, 2012
In a way, the problem with Harford County's ambulance service, which appears to be running in the red these days, according to a recent presentation to the Harford County Council, is emblematic of the problems facing the U.S. health care system. The short version: There's a lot of money involved and a lot of people who aren't directly involved in providing health services have a financial stake in what's going on. The long version is complicated and mind-numbingly detailed, but worth taking the time to understand.
NEWS
By Ellie Baublitz and James M. Coram and Ellie Baublitz and James M. Coram,SUN STAFF | May 4, 1998
Carroll County's volunteer fire companies will meet tonight to discuss a county proposal to bill insurance companies for ambulance services routinely covered by health insurance providers.If members of the county's 14 volunteer companies agree, Carroll could collect $2.1 million or more a year from insurance companies for providing emergency medical services, according to county budget supervisor Ted Zaleski.The seven-point proposal calls for the county to administer the program and pay each company "dollar for dollar" the revenue generated from emergency calls.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF | February 4, 1999
A private contractor collecting Baltimore City ambulance fees has been mistakenly billing Baltimore County residents for city ambulances dispatched into the county, and city fire officials say county residents may seek refunds for the $250 bills.Rural Metro Corp. of Baltimore, hired to recoup uncollected city ambulance fees, has been billing county residents with city residents since September, said Klark Staffan, regional president of Rural Metro.But Baltimore City fire officials acknowledged yesterday that the billing of county residents violates the terms of a 1989 Mutual Aid Agreement, which specifies that Baltimore-area jurisdictions not charge each other for police and fire services.
NEWS
By Ellie Baublitz and Ellie Baublitz,CONTRIBUTING WRITER | May 6, 1998
Members of Carroll's 14 volunteer fire companies expressed frustration and surprise at a long-standing county proposal to charge insurance companies for ambulance service.The four-page proposal was presented Monday to the Carroll County Volunteer Firefighters' Association by county Comptroller Eugene C. Curfman, past president of the association.The proposal would take effect only if all 14 companies agree.The County Commissioners reviewed the proposal last week and asked that it be circulated among association officials and the county's 14 fire companies before the association's monthly meeting Monday.
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