By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The director of the Colfax Rescue Squad is proposing a 1.1 percent increase in the per capita fee for 2013, which would raise the per capita by 17 cents, from $16 to $16.17, and a 3.3 percent increase on other fees.
Don Knutson, rescue squad director, presented the proposal at the Colfax Rescue Squad’s annual meeting August 30.
The 1.1 percent proposed increase on the per capita is based on 25 percent of the CPI for healthcare of 4.4 percent, with the remaining 3.3 percent increase going to other fees, Knutson said.
The proposed budget for 2013 of $434,988 is essentially the same as this year’s budget of $434,648, Knutson said.
The proposed 1.1 percent increase would generate an additional $2,213 in revenue next year and would be intended to help the per capita fee keep up with the Consumer Price Index rather than waiting several years and raising the per capita all at once, he said.
The $2 increase in the per capita last year was the first increase in three years.
The healthcare CPI is about two times the rate of inflation, Knutson noted.
One example is the cost of a defibrillator.
Six years ago, the rescue squad bought a new defibrillator for $17,000. The cost of a new defibrillator today is $34,000, Knutson said.
“The defibrillator price doubled in six years,” he said.
Per capita increase
According to the Colfax Rescue Squad annual report, the 1.1 percent increase would increase the cost for the Village of Colfax next year by $18.99.
The cost for the Village of Elk Mound would increase by $116.92 next year. The cost for the Village of Wheeler would increase by $59.16; for the Town of Colfax by $622.04; for the Town of Elk Mound by $692.72; the Town of Grant by $81.62; the Town of Otter Creek by $85.17; the Town of Sand Creek by $80.73; and the Town of Tainter by $455.84.
The per capita fee is based on the 2010 census.
The Village of Colfax, with a population of 1,158 (representing a loss of 11 people over the previous census) would pay a total of $18,546.99.
The Village of Elk Mound, with a population of 878 (representing a loss of 2 people over the previous census) would pay a total of $14,146.92.
The Village of Wheeler, with a population of 348 (representing a steady population) would pay a total of $5,627.16.
The Town of Colfax, with a population increase of 26 to 1,212, would pay $19,598.04.
The Town of Elk Mound, with population increase of 24 to 1,816, would pay $29,364.72.
The Town of Grant, with a population increase of 1 to 386, would pay $6,241.62.
The Town of Otter Creek, with a steady population of 501, would pay $8,101.17.
The Town of Sand Creek, with a population decrease of 1 to 569, would pay $9,200.73.
The Town of Tainter, with a population increase of 32 to 2,351, would pay a total of $19,007.84 on the Colfax Rescue Squad’s portion of the Town of Tainter based on a population increase of 1,175.5.
In all areas, the Colfax Rescue Squad is below the average of fees charged by other rescue squads in the area, Knutson said.
For example, Basic Life Support for a resident in this area currently costs $600 for the Colfax Rescue Squad, $850 for Menomonie, $825 for the Chippewa Fire District, $925 for Ellsworth and $1,113 for Baldwin — with an average of all the rescue squads surveyed of $781.88.
The proposed 3.3 percent increase for Colfax would increase the BLS fee by $19.80 to $619.80.
The BLS non-resident fee of $720 for Colfax compares to $1,075 for Menomonie, $925 for the Chippewa Fire District and for Ellsworth, and $1,113 for Baldwin — with an average fee of $896.38.
The proposed 3.3 percent increase for Colfax would increase the BLS fee for a non-resident by $24, from $740 to $764.42.
Advanced Life Support for a resident costs $720 for the Colfax Rescue Squad, $975 for Menomonie, $950 for the Chippewa Fire District, $1,250 for Ellsworth and $1,238 for Baldwin — with an average fee of $923, 75.
The proposed 3.3 percent increase for Colfax would increase the ALS fee by $23.42 for a resident from $720 to $743.42.
The average for the ALS non-resident fee is $1,035.75.
The current ALS non-resident fee for Colfax is $860, and the proposed 3.3 percent increase would increase the fee by $28.38 to $888.38.
The fees charged by the Colfax Rescue Squad for resident and non-resident mileage, spinal immobilization, BLS on-scene care, ALS on-scene care, ALS on-scene non-resident care are all less than the averages for the area and would increase by 3.3 percent.
The Colfax EMS Association, which is a non-profit organization that is not part of the Colfax Rescue Squad or the Village of Colfax, was formed a year-and-a-half ago, Knutson said.
The Colfax EMS Association currently has 22 active members, reported Jessica Erickson, president of the EMS association.
The EMS association’s activities include holding fund-raisers and writing grants to buy equipment for the Colfax Rescue Squad, she said.
The EMS association also works on community safety initiatives, such as the recent bike rodeo. A total of 30 helmets were donated for the bike rodeo and were all given away, Erickson said.
Last year, the Colfax EMS Association sold raffle calendars as a fund-raising activity and is planning on selling calendars again this year, she said.
The Colfax EMS Association held an EMS awareness event last year and is planning to hold the event this year on October 13 at Kyle’s Market, Erickson said.
The event will be coordinated with Fire Prevention Week, and the Sand Creek Fire Department and the Elk Mound Fire Department also will participate. Other fire departments may participate as well, she said.
The October 13 event will mark the kick-off for this year’s calendar raffle, Erickson said.
The Colfax Village Board will have to take action on the proposed per capita increase of 1.1 percent and the proposed fee increase of 3.3 percent for the Colfax Rescue Squad for 2013 before the fee increases would go into effect.