To me, a no brainer since the new private owners of the hospital can easily shut down the ambulance service they have. But the debate started raging for some reason this week on one of the old style bulletin boards at NWI.com I've recreated below highlights from that debate so you can see the ferocity of the anger by those that for some reason just plain can't stand anything that the Costas administration does. Perhaps this will give the reader a sense that though Jon Costas has 60-70 percent support, those that don't like him are vehement.
Because of political pressure the city administration in Valparaiso gave in to the Fire Union and allowed them to start an ambulance service. This when everyone is talking about consolidating services. But no they tear a perfectly good County service apart. Now I hear they have the nerve to ask the County Council for money to subsidize this new service. What a joke. The Council can't back this.Comment: Billsly started the whole attack, and must have done so when Valparaiso asked that the council reduce the amount going to the old hospital which is now serving a lot fewer people, and redirect those dollars to Valparaiso's ambulance service.
by jlawley (who incidentally works on the fire department)
Feel free to have your misguided thoughts on the hows and whys of the Ambulance Service...God Bless America! But the ambulance service run out of Porter Hospital is not County owned...it is a private company now. If you look around you will see quite a few threads about the hospital sale.
Come on Jeff you know it is much easier to put garbage that isn't true out there than to actually find out the truth.
by Don Corleone
I do not think anyone can question the response time of the Valpo Fire, they arrived before any Porter County Ambulance before they were running their own EMS...the fire/based ambulance is not a new concept and IT IS A CONSOLIDATION OF SERVICE.
The private hospital will honor the contract for ambulance until 2010 or 2011, fuzzy on the detail here, then who knows what will be...I'm sure things are on the drawing board, but I am not an insider to the knowledge.The county subsidizes the "Porter Ambulance Service" as well as Portage, South Haven and Ogden Dunes, so I guess my question is why wouldn't they help Valpo Fire? Cut the portion they give to "Porter" since they are no longer servicing Valpo.
Most EMS services are tax supported in part, so let's be fair. Valpo Fire is proven service and better service...I guess I don't understand what the gripe on this thread is...Personally speaking, when minutes count, I am glad to have the boys (and girls) in red tend to our emergency medical needs, it might be the difference in life or ...
by billsly (at this point he's on his own and looking for supporters)
Fact. It is and has been a County Ambulance Service. Porter just runs it under contract
for the County. After 2011 the County must take back over. Fact Porter had ambulance presence in Valparaiso at all times. Fact There are less house fires today because of smoke detectors and new building materials and therefore certain fire unions see ambulance service as a way to demand more money and growth. Fact Several years ago Valpo fireman started responding ot all Porter ambulance runs in Valparaiso Fact At the same time Valparaiso was saving money by joing Coutny 911 and talking about savings in bringing together services they had plans to gut the County Ambulance service to please the firefighters union in Valparaiso that backed the Preset (I got tired of fixing his spelling errors) administration. It is an example of government at its worst. This is how over the years these many layers of government have started. Now Valparaiso wants the County to help pay for this and also after county takes over the ambulance service after 2011 they will be faced with a system that has been torn apart.
But here is an idea. The V Line has so much ridership why not have the V Line Finance the Ambulance Service
by The Jolly Undertaker
This issue has been addressed and debated on this board many months ago, so there's not much appetite to rehash it. To recap for Billy-come-lately: the Fire Department is often the first responder to 911 calls in Valparaiso. Valpo Fire arrived at least a few minutes before the Porter Memorial ambulance last time I called 911 for a medical emergency. In many emergencies, those few minutes make a big difference.
In the past, Valpo Fire was somewhat but not fully trained in providing the necessary services. Fully equipping them to provide a full ambulance service is a great example of doing more (and making the city safer) without creating significant extra cost to taxpayers. If you think the city needs fewer firefighters and this is a case of featherbedding, then show up at a city council meeting and make your case. Otherwise you're just bellyaching.
While I admire your passion for this argument you might want to check on some of these so-called FACTS First the employees and all EMS realted equipment belongs to the new private owner of the private hospital, so the county does not actually own anything EMS related. There is a contract paid by the county for EMS service through 2011 aterwhich is anybodies guess...if you check this private companies other hospitals you will find that they have not kept their hand in EMS services and most, if not all, are privately held outside the company. This Private factor is one that is important to me as a citizen of Valparaiso because as long as the city runs it I have a say, through my elected officials, to the quality and scope of the service. Valpo Fire never responded to all of Porters calls while they were county owned, we actually had a limited protocol and were only dispatched on what would be considered major calls. (i/e Heart Attacks, strokes, etc.) These response were never billed for and were done to provide care for the citizens of Center Township and Valpo, since porter response times could be lengthy depending on where their ambulance was coming from. 911 consilodation took quite awhile and was the right thing to do as evidenced by house bill 1001. Your Union comment is being ignored on purpose since it bears no weight or validity. As far as 2011 is concerned there have been alot of rumors about what is going to happen, all I can tell you is that in 2011, and the years leading up to it, the citizens of Valparaiso and Center township will not have to worry about their service, or quality of service, while the parts of the county without may end up with the lowest bidder. We are beholden to the citizens we serve and strive to give them the best service possible. In the words of Forrest Gump "That's all I got to say about that." V Line comment ignored as ignorant.
Most all county fire departments paid and volunteer run parallel to the ambulance on life threatening calls with a first responder service and have since before 1990. Yes the fire department can often beat the ambulance; it’s called location, location, location since the fire departments have many more stations and can answer directly from their homes. Some firemen are EMT and Paramedics.
Is Valpo ambulance a duplication of service? It will be to at least 2011. Valpo wants their own say so. Was 911 a duplication? Yes even before when they were a block apart. But Valpo wanted a say so on how 911 was handled in their city.
Not much has changed in Valpo. Just different names and different services and different fire department toys to play with. Center Township may get a different fire response than those "in the city". Valpo used to only allow so many trucks and men outside the city. Portage Twp never had a county ambulace station to my knowledge and no duplication with the county.
What really is going to happen is the person who is going to get something is the taxpayer.
What are they going to get. A bigger tax bill.
Thanks Mayor and Valpo Fire.
by Don Corleone
Are not the collection rates fairly decent within Valparaiso/Center Township? Insurance, medicare and private pay? I would think they are. Primarily, yes there were start up costs for rigs and medical supplies...wasn't grant money used for some of these initial costs? Or grant monies yet to be received?
I can agree with one statement made by either Billy come lately or Day Off, LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION...and this my friends make all the difference in a serious medical situation, when minutes/seconds count.
I have said this before and I will say it again, if there is one thing I demand from my tax dollars it's to dial 911, have the phone answered promptly and dispatch the police, fire or ambulance (whatever the need) ASAP. For the ambulance service, at least in part it is fee based funded ANNNNNDDDDDDD Valpo Fire/EMS provides the most expedient response. They did so when they weren't even their own EMS service, usually arriving before the ambulance.
For the fire end of the spectrum, I understand that the insurance rating for their fast response time and evaluation of such gave most of us a slight break on our homeowners policies. Way to go VFD. I am glad to have your dedicated service and know if the unforeseen happens, I or my loved ones are in good hands. Enough said.
The statement referrence there is always a Porter Ambulance presence in Valpo is not entirely correct. The town is divided in to response areas. East side of Sturdy Rd and areas east of Sturdy are handled primarily by Porter Hospital. Everything on the west side and areas west of Sturdy are Valpo EMS. If Porters ambulance is on a call, Valpo EMS is the one that goes. The ambulance from Porter also covers Morgan Township and Washington Township. Every effort is made to replace the busy Porter ambulance stationed in Valpo, but that doesn't always occur.
Ambulance service was working fine.
Mayor caved in to firemans union.
Tax payers are going to pay more.
So you say if you live east of Sturdy but in the city, your first call ambulance is Porter? It probably would be closer for Porter on Laporte Ave, at least south of Evans. City taxpayers east of Sturdy aren't getting much for their money.
by Iam Watching
Typical When you lose an argument Taxes are going Up. What a strategy!!!!! You guys need to find a new line of recreation. Your terrible at this.