Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler spoke at the city council meeting Monday, Jan. 8, 2018. Tyler asked that the council table the EMS vote until more information could be obtained. Andrew Harp, DN Photo
Muncie EMS vote tabled until Feb. 5
Editor's Note: A previous version of this story listed a Muncie resident Jane McDow, the correct spelling of her name is Jane McDowell. This story has been updated with the correct spelling.
Muncie City Council was expected to vote on the fire-based emergency medical services (EMS) ordinance Monday night, but the vote has been pushed back.
Ordinance 68-17 was tabled with a 7-2 vote Monday per Mayor Dennis Tyler's request. It will be sent back to the public safety committee meeting before being voted on by council members.
“The idea for fire-based EMS for the City of Muncie is not something that I just considered recently or I took lightly," Tyler said.
The mayor said he met with county officials in 2013 to discuss ideas around fire-based EMS to do what he said were two specific things:
- To provide the most expedient service together in a partnership to save lives with even better response times
- To begin to correct the total fiscal unfairness to the taxpayers and citizens of Muncie
Tyler gave the city council a scenario:
“The tone goes off sending a fire unit and an EMS unit to South Madison. Currently, a fire truck will arrive as a first responder, with an ambulance 90 percent of the time arriving later.
"There can be several minutes of wait time between the first responder who can only try and stabilize the situation and an ambulance who can provide further medical and transportation to the hospital.
"Many times, your first responders assist in life support, before, during and after transportation. That’s the end of the run, the tone is over and the emergency is over. The billings go out and the hospital and Delaware County receive compensation.
"The City of Muncie and your first responders receive not one penny for everything they’ve done to assist in that life saving situation.”
Mike Harris, a certified financial planner, presented council with a comparison of the finances of the proposed Muncie EMS to the actual finances of Delaware County EMS.
Harris, who received a finance degree from Ball State University and a master's degree in finance and accounting from Indiana University, said that Muncie would lose over $1.4 million every year with the new plan.
“On your proposal, it said, No. 1, ‘We will make money.’ That’s flat out wrong,” Harris said.
Muncie resident Jane McDowell said that on top of the money, the new EMS system was unnecessary because no one has really complained about the Delaware County EMS response time.
“We’d like to see our streets in better repair, and we’d like to see the city not having such a high level of indebtedness to replace a system that actually works pretty well,” McDowell said.
The next council meeting will be at 7:30 p.m Feb. 5 at Muncie City Hall.