Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011 | 2:02 a.m.
Less than a month after voting to end emergency medical service transports by the North Las Vegas Fire Department, the North Las Vegas City Council has reinstated it.
In the past few months the council has gone back and forth on the decision to allow the fire department to transport sick and injured patients with the medical priority level of “Delta,” the most seriously situations, to the hospital, shifting from the private ambulance service MedicWest.
The original agreement to take transports from MedicWest began Sept. 1 in order to bring in revenue for the city by billing insurance companies for the service, but was later cancelled after the council voted 3-2 against it at the Sept. 21 council meeting.
Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Brame said the agreement would bring in roughly $600,000 for the city in six months.
With a 4-1 vote, all but councilman Robert Eliason voted to resume fire department transports.
MedicWest representative Mike Gorman said that although the agreement is not finalized and would financially hurt the company, they are committed to partnering with the city.
Councilwoman Anita Wood still voiced concerns over the cost of overtime pay that would be necessary for the billing and collections manpower needed to implement the transports.
“I would like to see a monitoring to make sure we known exactly where the program is falling,” said Wood. “What I would like to ask is that we monitor the response times … that we monitor the (overtime) … also that we monitor monthly to ensure that the program is making the estimated revenue.”
She mentioned that the bulk of the revenue would go to pay for over time hours so the agreement may not bring in as much revenue as projected.
“We fully intend to monitor the revenues and more importantly to monitor the overall response,” Brame responded to the council.
Brame and the council agreed that the fire department should regularly report the status of the revenues, over time and response times to the council.