John Mack - Newtown Supervisor
First Responders Category

Support the Newtown Ambulance Squad

I recently subscribed to the Newtown Ambulance Squad by making a household donation of $60. 

Resnikoff and Mack
John Mack (R) hands subscription check over to Evan Resnikoff (L), Chief of Operations, Newtown Ambulance Squad.

I hope I never need the services of the Squad, but if I do, it's good to know that my contribution - which is tax deductible - will cover any costs, even the insurance co-pay. Donations like this, which make up about 5% of the Squad's revenue, help cover the costs of the squad. But more is needed as costs keep rising and calls for drug overdoses balloon (read "Newtown Ambulance Squad Seeks Additional Funding").

The subscription drive is mailed annually to all households in the Squad's primary service area, which includes all of Newtown Township, Newtown Boro, Northampton Township in select sections of Holland, and very small parts of Upper Makefield and Lower Makefield Townships. Look in you mailbox and consider subscribing!

Subscription Brochure

In addition to help fund operations and equipment needs, your tax-deductible donation ensures coverage of your insurance deductible or co-pay in the event you should need service.

For more information, visit the Newtown Ambulance Squad website: http://www.newtownambulance.org/

Posted on 18 Nov 2017, 01:46 - Category: First Responders

Some Bucks Towns Opt for Volunteer Stipends

Act 172 of 2016 allows municipalities to offer tax exemptions to emergency volunteers and some Bucks County towns are passing resolutions offering a stipend to fire and ambulance companies (see Courier Times article below). Newtown is not among the towns mentioned in the article. Recently Evan Resnikoff, Chief of Operations of the Newtown Ambulance Squad requested a 0.5 mill tax increase (read "Newtown Ambulance Squad Seeks Additional Funding").

 

Posted on 22 Oct 2017, 01:28 - Category: First Responders

Newtown Ambulance Squad Seeks Additional Funding

Asks for Return to EMS Millage

Evan Resnikoff, Chief of Operations, Newtown Ambulance Squad, presented the Squad’s Annual Report at the October 11, 2017 Newtown Township Board of Supervisors meeting.

Resnikoff compared funding of the Newtown Squad to funding of neighboring municipality ambulance squads. Lower Makefield Township, for example, provides $248,000 in annual funding for its ambulance squad, which averages 1500 calls per year compared to an estimated 2600 for Newtown’s Squad. Currently, the Newtown squad receives 25% of Local Services Taxes, which for 2017 is estimated to be $490,000 – the squad would receive about $123,000 of that.

About 90% of the squad’s revenue comes from fee for services (see Figure 1, below). Resnikoff reported that the Squad has $74,000 in collectibles for the period of January through August, 2017, due to the fact that patients are not turning over checks they receive from insurance companies. In general, the squad collects only about 60 cents of every dollar billed.

Figure 1. 2016 Revenue Sources for Newtown Ambulance Squad

When Resnikoff revealed that the response to opioid calls was up 58% in the first 8 months of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, the audience let out an audible gasp! This adds a significant cost to the healthcare system including EMS because greater than 80% of these patients have no insurance and cannot pay the fees.

Resnikoff said the Squad’s Paramedics on average earn $3.75 per hour below market rate for Bucks County and EMTs average $4.00 per hour below market rate. These first responders have not been given base hourly rate raises since December 2015. These hourly wage levels have made it challenging to recruit for open positions, resulting in more overtime hours to fill open shifts.

Resnikoff suggested “going back to the EMS millage” instead of a percentage of the Local Services tax, which varies from year to year. The maximum allowable would be 0.5 mill. That would generate about $172,000 of funding for the squad in 2018.

Posted on 19 Oct 2017, 12:27 - Category: First Responders

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