The Ambulance Transport Fund (ATF) supports Eugene Fire & EMS’ emergency medical services and the services they provide to the community. In recent years, EMS operational costs have outpaced revenues for the ATF, creating a gap that is typically supplemented by the General Fund. A multi-year plan was implemented to make the ATF solvent by transferring funds from both the General Fund and Community Safety Payroll Tax to maintain EMS service levels.
Since 2020, the ATF has received $1.325 million from the Community Safety Payroll Tax and will continue to receive $420,000 annually through FY28. Without this critical funding, Eugene Fire & EMS would have been forced to remove a a medic response vehicle out of service from Station 10, Eugene’s southwest fire station. This out of service ambulance would have impacted response times for the surrounding fire stations.
Medic 10 responds to over 11 calls per day and over 4,075 calls per year. If removed from service, remaining medic stations would need to respond to the calls that Medic 10 typically responds to.
In addition to ATF funding, the Community Safety Payroll Tax allocated $700,000 in FY22 to purchase three ambulances. Due to supply chain issues, the delivery of these vehicles has been delayed until 2024. The ambulances will support a redesign of our community’s emergency medical services system. The redesign includes operating ambulances with single-role paramedics*, creating a tiered level of response and matching the right resource with the need.
The implementation of a fully tiered ambulance transport system adds needed capacity to the emergency response system in a way that allows resources to be quickly added when and where they are needed. The alternative service delivery will set a foundation for Eugene Fire & EMS ambulance service to grow in a fiscally responsible manner while continuing to provide the level of service the community expects. This will also provide a career path for community members who want to work in emergency services but do not want to be firefighters. Additionally, this new model will make sure patients receive the right level of care, and mode of transportation to an appropriate destination, at the right cost.
*Prior to FY22, Eugene Fire & EMS Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulances were staffed with firefighter-paramedics (dual role staff).