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Ambulance board explains planned use of ARPA funds

 
January 4, 2022

In October, Boundary Ambulance made a request to the Boundary County Commissioners for authorization to use roughly $260,000 of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds made available to the county. A large portion of these dollars would be used to replace an aging 2007 ambulance heavily relied on for the out-of-county hospital transfer of serious and often critical patients.

This new ambulance would have sophisticated UV decontamination abilities to kill bacteria and viruses, thus adding further protection for the staff and subsequent patients. This equipment is becoming a standard practice.

Some of these funds would also be used to install a power-load automatic stretcher system for the ambulance based in Naples; this system is standard in most ambulances and significantly reduces worker-compensation claims.

Per the US Treasury Department, ARPA funds are “earmarked” tax dollars returned to communities to help in the fight against COVID. While there are restrictions on how ARPA funds may be used, there are no requirements to comply with unassociated rules, regulations, executive orders or mandates. In other words, there are absolutely no other “strings attached” to the use of these funds.

These are tax-payer dollars being returned to the tax-payer community – they are the people’s money, to help the people.

So, to be fully transparent, Boundary Ambulance is not conspiring to knowingly or unknowingly cause our community to yield to vaccination mandates. But to be on the safe side, Boundary County Commissioners are checking with the Idaho Attorney General’s Office to ensure that the use of these funds does not inadvertently have this result.

Replacing an aging ambulance that requires frequent repairs and keeping the responders and patients as safe as possible is the single goal. Your ambulance service has a fleet of four vehicles – a remounted 2020 Dodge truck that runs on all 911 calls; two 2013 Dodge ambulances; and the 2007 Freightliner to be replaced. Multiple ambulances are needed for multi-call responses, patient transfers (sometimes two, or even three, simultaneously), and downtime for maintenance and repairs.

Your ambulance service is not greedy. The EMTs and paramedics are trying their best to give you the best advanced life support level service possible. They want to give you the fastest response possible with the best medical care available, and do it in the safest environment affordable.

This is a daunting task in a very small rural county where the funds are limited, so accepting financial assistance when offered makes all the sense in the world.

The bottom line – Boundary Ambulance promises to continue providing you the highest level of pre-hospital and transfer care possible, but it needs your support and your understanding of the facts.
Boundary Ambulance Board of Directors
Ty Iverson, Chair

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