THE PERTINENT DETAILS
Trinity County Life Support (TCLS), your local non-profit ambulance service, was formed in July of 1993. Our mission statement, written 26 years ago, remains the basis of our operations.
“Trinity County Life Support’s Mission is to provide the highest level of advanced life support pre-hospital emergency medical services to our community, and to assist in the education and training of our local fire departments, schools, and the general public on health and safety issues.”
TCLS strives to maintain four ambulances in readiness, two staffed 24/7. One each stationed in Weaverville and Hayfork. Two reserve ambulances are in Weaverville, off-duty staffing is called in when needed and available. Our ambulances cover a service area of 1, 383,800 acres and we can have transport times of up to two hours.
TCLS has a staff of 20 employees, 17 of whom are ambulance attendants. 10 employees are full-time, and the remaining 7 are part-time or casual. Casual employees are only called when needed and scheduled for open shifts. Our ambulance staff consist of Advanced Life Support(ALS) Paramedics and basic life support (BLS) Emergency Medical Technicians.
Management staff (2) are paramedics, each working part-time hours and covering shifts when needed. There is just 1 staff member who is not an emergency responder, this is a full-time administrative position performing daily business, coordinating the training center, and managing the membership functions.
Full-time ambulance attendants work three 24-hour shifts per week. Currently the ambulance staff work a 24-hour shift, but only receive 16 hours of pay each day, the additional 8-hours are paid only if the sleep period is interrupted. Passage of Measures D & E will allow us to conform to industry standards and pay crews the for their full 24-hour shift.
TCLS responds to approximately 1500 calls for service annually. The following are call statistics for the most recently completed year, 2018. Each number represents a person needing emergency care. The communities of Hayfork, Hyampom, Post Mountain (numbers included with Hayfork), and Wildwood are served by Hayfork Ambulance 303. The balance served by Weaverville Ambulance 301.
More statistics and info can be found in our Operations Report.
TCLS transport revenue remains remarkably stable and comes from Medicare (49%), Medi-Cal (28%) Insurance (14%) and Private Pay (9%).
Listed below is a summary of unreimbursed costs for the period July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018. It is representative of a normal revenue year:
Medicare and Medi-Cal (77%) pay less than the cost of providing service. Passage of Measures D & E will allow direct access to government reimbursement of Medi-Cal fee for service shortfalls through Ground Emergency Medical Transport (GEMT) funding. This funding is not available to non-profit agencies.
COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE
It is our goal to provide Trinity County with the highest level of pre-hospital patient care possible. Unfortunately if Measures D and E do NOT pass there is no certainty that TCLS can continue with current staffing and service levels. A reduction in service results in a decrease in the health and safety of our communities by potential delays in care and transport, poor patient outcomes, and overload for our volunteer fire department personnel.
WITH voter approval of Measures D and E we will continue to operate two advanced life support ambulances 24/7, one stationed at our quarters in Hayfork and one stationed at Weaverville. Each ambulance would be staffed with a Paramedic and an Emergency Medical Technician. Ambulance personnel will be paid 24 hours for a 24-hour shift and moved to a 48/96 shift schedule (48 hours on/96 hours off) effectively reducing stress and fatigue and greatly increasing our ability to recruit and retain ambulance staff.
To maintain this schedule we would need to hire four additional medical personnel. This depth of staffing strengthens our ability to respond to large incidents, and to provide backup ambulances when needed in a timely manner. We would also restore management hours to two full-time positions. This is much-needed and vitally important to maintaining a well-trained, patient care-oriented service.
Our objective is strong and stable ambulance services and we affirm to the community that Measures D and E will provide this for the long term, and that we’ll continue to require conservative spending, grant-writing for special projects, and no wasteful spending of your/our tax dollars.