Pharos-Tribune

Breaking News

Opinion

October 16, 2013

KITCHELL: 'Golden hour' at hand for local officials

When someone dials 911 and asks for an ambulance to come, the expectation is that a local ambulance service assigned to do nothing but respond to those calls will respond immediately and that everything that can be done to save a life will be done.

While that may be the expectation in Logansport and Cass County as much as it is anywhere else in this country, there is genuine concern about the job that Rural Metro, the company hired by county officials to provide ambulance service, is doing. Those concerns boiled over at a Logansport City Council meeting last week when the council approved a $100,000 appropriation in the 2014 city budget. That funding will be committed to purchase an ambulance for the Logansport Fire Department for the first time. That’s somewhat unusual since the city isn’t responsible for providing its own ambulance service.

Councilman Chuck LaDow called for the council to eliminate the item in the budget, but after a discussion involving both Logansport’s fire chief, Mark Strong, and firefighter B.J. Cox, the other six members were convinced to proceed with the appropriation. Strong said he was reluctant to move the fire department into the ambulance business, but the choice is clear based on problems with Rural Metro’s service.

While patients may ultimately win because of the council’s move, the ultimate loser is the taxpayer who is being billed twice for the same service. Why should Logansport taxpayers have to pay for both a fire department ambulance and another one contracted by the county? The obvious answer is that they shouldn’t, but unless something happens to change minds, they will be soon.

In Walton, there is a peculiar twist to this situation. Walton’s Bernie Mangan relates the story of a neighbor who called for an ambulance and had both Rural Metro and the Galveston Ambulance Service respond to the call. Ironically, the man also ended up being billed by both Rural Metro and Galveston for ambulance calls. Mangan says the billing was eventually straightened out, but the coverage of the same area by two different ambulance services represents a duplication of services that is unnecessarily redundant, if not a waste of public money.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • THEIR VIEW: Indiana needs open primary elections Indiana's primary election system is dysfunctional. What the state really needs is an open primary system. This month, the Lake County election board argued about the procedures for recruiting high school students as poll workers for the May 6 primar

    April 23, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Tax bills show what smoke & mirrors don't There's a price to be paid for the decline in what we call civic engagement -- and local property taxpayers are paying that price. In case you haven't received your 2014 Cass County property tax statement yet, be prepared for a bit of sticker shock w

    April 23, 2014

  • MARCUS: Illinois brings joy to Indiana From the email this week, I sensed a profound need by Hoosiers to find joy in the problems of Illinois. Our neighbors to the west are fighting their way through a mess of their own making. They have forced themselves to raise taxes and cut services t

    April 22, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Let voters weigh option of easing daily commute There was a time in this country when workers typically lived less than an hour's walk from their jobs. A time when a "commuter" was simply a traveler taking advantage of a reduced railway fare on his way to the big city. A time when the American sub

    April 22, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: Wait a minute here — what did I just sign? When Dr. Sam said, "You've got the prostate of a 16-year-old," it was hard to keep from beaming. This must be how a woman feels when a complete stranger tells her she has a beautiful baby. Well, maybe not quite. Still, it was hard not to feel proud o

    April 22, 2014

  • LYONS: How we devalued the 'R' word At the risk of angering somebody like MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry, I sometimes used to joke that I only look white. Actually, I'm Irish. Meaning basically that I wasn't raised to think the man in the big house had all the answers, nor deserved all t

    April 21, 2014

  • HAYDEN: Want better teacher ratings? Ask the kids The state may be back where it started, encumbered with a flawed teacher grading system, a year after implementing what were meant to be tough new standards. That was the general consensus of the State Board of Education days after teacher evaluation

    April 21, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Careful look at tax structure needed Indiana legislators this year created a "blue-ribbon commission" to study the state's taxes on businesses this summer. We hope the commission will listen to Larry DeBoer, a Purdue professor who might understand Indiana's tax structure better than any

    April 20, 2014

  • KNISELY: Adventures in cat spaying If you're a regular reader of this column, you know I have a cat. I got the cat to deal with the mice. Even if you only pop in on this column from time to time, you still likely know I have mice and that I hate them. I complain about it quite regular

    April 20, 2014

  • PUBLIC FORUM: Letters for Sunday, April 20, 2014 Power forum hopes to answer questions Do you pay electric bills? Then you are invited to learn how Public Power can often lower electric rates. Logansport's coal firing plant must be shut down within two years, and our contract with Duke expires in f

    April 20, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.