By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — The Colfax Rescue Squad is proposing to raise the rate charges by 2.8 percent for 2014, although the per capita rate of $16.17 will remain the same as last year.
Colfax is generally below average on rescue squad rates, noted Don Knutson, director of the Colfax Rescue Squad, at the rescue squad’s annual meeting August 27.
According to information included in the annual report, Colfax charges $619 for a Basic Life Support ambulance run for a resident in the rescue squad’s service area while the average charge from other services is $767.
For Basic Life Support for a non-resident, Colfax charges $764, while the average for the other services is $862.
Colfax charges $743 for an Advanced Life Support ambulance run for a resident while the average from the other services is $901.
Colfax charges $888 for non-resident ALS, while the average from the other services is $1,042.
The proposed 2.8 percent increase would raise a BLS resident charge from $619 to $637 and from $764 to $785 for a non-resident.
The ALS resident charge would increase from $743 to $764, and the non-resident charge would increase from $888 to $913.
The per capita rate, which is the amount each municipality in the ambulance district’s service area pays per person, will remain at $16.17, Knutson said.
Some municipalities in the last year have lost people and some have gained population, he noted.
The Village of Colfax has lost seven people for a total population of 1,140. The village will pay $113 less, for a total payment for 2014 of $18,433.
The Town of Colfax has gained ten people and will pay $161 more for a total of $19,759.
The Village of Elk Mound has gained three people, will pay $48 more, for a total of $14,213.
The Town of Elk Mound has gained eight people, will pay $129 more, for a total of $29,494.
The Town of Grant has lost one person, will pay $16.17 less, for a total of $6,225.
The Town of Otter Creek has lost three people, will pay $48 less, for a total of $8,052.
The Town of Sand Creek has gained three people, will pay $48 more, for a total of $9,249.
The Town of Tainter has gained four people in the service area, will pay $64 more, for a total of $19,080.
The Village of Wheeler has lost one person, will pay $16.17 less, for a total of $5,610.
With all of the gains and losses, overall, the ambulance district has gained 16 people.
Total revenue for the Colfax Rescue Squad from per capita fees will be $130,119 for 2014.
Here are some other interesting facts from the Colfax Rescue Squad annual report or the annual meeting:
• The cost for one Emergency Medical Technician to become an EMT Basic is about $1,000. The cost for one EMT to add onto the certification to become an EMT Advanced is $700.
• The new generator was funded with a grant from Dunn Energy and was put to use within the first hour of installation because the electricity went off in Colfax. The first week after it was installed, the generator ran for 11 hours because of the May 2 snowstorm.
• In 2012, the Colfax Rescue Squad went on nearly 450 runs. About 140 of those runs were in the Village of Colfax, and the remainder were in the other municipalities.
• In 2012, 44 percent of the patients went to Mayo-Eau Claire, while 27 percent went to Menomonie-Mayo, 17 percent went to Sacred Heart Hospital and eight percent went to Mayo-Bloomer.
• The proposed budget for 2014 is $438,736, compared to a budget of $434,820 for this year.
• The Colfax EMS Association secured grants or raised money for a variety of projects, including the generator, two tablet computers for run reporting, uniforms, and new furniture for the on-call room at the Colfax Rescue Squad building.
• Medicare reimbursements to the Colfax Rescue Squad have been cut by two percent because of the federal sequester.
• The ambulances have been appraised at $180,000 and $200,000 for insurance replacement costs.
• The Colfax Rescue Squad participated in two disaster drills, a tabletop disaster drill involving Crossroads Ag and an anhydrous ammonia leak, and an airplane crash drill at Eau Claire Regional Airport.
The following people are on the roster for the Colfax Rescue Squad: Don Knutson; Roger Knutson; James Osterman; Scott Johnson; Stephanie Riether; Shaylee Miracle; Michelle Briggs; Dawn Roberts; Miranda Onerheim; Peter Lewis; Tammy Sauer; Jessica Erickson; Tanner Tenpas; Jeremiah Schummer; Travis Borreson; Jerry Lofthus; Joel Smith; Woody Songe; Gerald Favero; Scott Craig; Nick Mann; Heather Harsh; Dan Brzeskiewicz; Kevin Acker; Adam Vnuk; Julie Dohms; Tim Swenson; Eric McCoy; Mark Levra; Peter Jain; Chris Larson; Dave Shipman; Vince Morning.