MORNING NEWS â€” Leslie Mielke
Blackfoot fireman-advanced Tony Talamantes is ready to carry a LIFEPAK from an ambulance. Following an emergency, the ambulance is stocked and prepared for the next run within 10 minutes of returning to the station, said Talamantes.
BLACKFOOT â€” A vote on a permanent override for the ambulance district will be on each ballot this November.
"This is nothing new," said Blackfoot Fire Chief Kevin Gray. "There will be no additional increase.
"Every other year, the community supports an ambulance override," Gray said. "What this override does is bring the levy up to the maximum amount that can be levied."
The whole of Bingham County is one ambulance district. Support of the ambulance district shows up on property taxes.
The maximum that could be levied for the ambulance district would equal $40 per $100,000 value, said Bingham County Clerk Sara Staub. The amount attributable to the override of the $40 is about $6 per $100,000 of value.
Since 2000, the Bingham County Ambulance District has requested and received voter approval every other year for a temporary override.
This override allows the district to seek additional dollars up to the levy limit, Staub said. The levy limit is never going to be more than $40 per $100,000 value as Idaho statute now reads.
"Initially, the county set the ambulance mill levy low," said Bingham County commissioner Whitney Manwaring. "The ambulance gives so much better service now.v
"We've come a long way since the ambulance service was first was in Blackfoot," Manwaring said."Back then, before Montague's ambulance, a hearse would be used to pick up a patient. The patient would be put in the back of the hearse and the driver and attendant would get in the front.v
"Now we are able to keep people alive and save lives," Manwaring said. "People receive an increased service level of care; EMT's and paramedics are saving a lot of lives."