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Parkway Regional Hospital presents lease proposal to Twin City Ambulance

Parkway Regional Hospital presents lease proposal to Twin City Ambulance
By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
The Twin City Ambulance Service board has received a lease proposal from Parkway Regional Hospital in Fulton.
The proposal to help the financially-distressed ambulance service comes just days after the cities of Fulton, South Fulton and Hickman, Ky., as well as Fulton County, Ky., committed to help fund the service.
It was recently re-vealed that the Twin City Ambulance Service (TCAS) had reached a critical point in its financial condition. The ambulance service’s revenues are derived from EMS billing and membership fees, but participation in a voluntary subscription membership program has steadily declined.
In the past, because revenues collected did not cover operational costs, the City of Fulton subsidized a significant amount of expenses on behalf of the ambulance service. On Aug. 22, the Fulton City Commission adopted a municipal order which authorized Fulton’s city manager to enter into negotiations with TCAS partnerships to obtain ad-ditional funding to support the service.
If no agreement is reached, additional funding previously provided by the City of Fulton would cease Nov. 22.
Numerous meetings have been held in recent days by both the ambulance board and an ad hoc committee of city officials formed following a town hall meeting Sept. 27 in Fulton. The city governments have also held special meetings and pledged support for the Twin Cities area’s much-needed ambulance service.
Today, Fulton Mayor Elaine Forrester confirmed a proposal has been received from Parkway Regional Hospital.
The emergency medical services proposal came in the form of a letter dated Saturday from Parkway CEO Rob Calhoun to the Twin City Ambulance Service. It calls for the four governments involved to each contribute just over $7,500 a month — less than has been discussed in some recent meetings — to fund the continued operation.
“We believe our local ambulance service plays a vital role in times of great need and this is not a service our community can afford to lose,” Calhoun wrote. “Parkway Regional Hospital is committed to the communities we serve and to ensuring that everyone has access to high quality emergent care. We respectfully submit the below proposal for the purpose of continuing ambulance services to the area.”
The lease proposal outlines commitments from TCAS, the hospital, the cities of Fulton, South Fulton and Hickman and Fulton County. It outlines what the hospital would do and indicates the hospital would assume control Jan. 1, 2012, for a three-year lease with an option to renew, if the proposal is accepted.
Mrs. Forrester said everything regarding the proposal is still pending until a contract is drafted for consideration. She said the Fulton City Commission still has to meet in regard to extending service past the Nov. 22 deadline to the Jan. 1 proposed date for Parkway to take control.
Fulton city manager Steve Freedman, presiding ambulance board member, could not be reached for comment at press time today and a call to his office was not returned.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at cmenees@ucmessenger.com.
 Published in The Messenger 10.26.11

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