On July 22nd, the Board of Directors for our Ambulance District voted to begin the process to place a mill levy increase on the ballot for the November election. This increase would allow the Ambulance District to levy up to 15 mills of a property tax within the District.
We want to provide the voters with as much information to be as educated as possible, and with this information we hope you’ll support us.
Ambulance Services in North Dakota are governed by two sets of rules, the North Dakota Century Code and the North Dakota Administrative Rules. These rules set the basis for how an ambulance service must function and how it is funded. Click the button to read them all:
Providing qualified responders to meet the above requirements has always been a challenge in Divide County. Up until 2015, the Ambulance District was volunteer. We transitioned to full time staff when it became apparent that the volunteer staffing model was not sustainable. The model is not sustainable for a variety of reasons:
We continue to rely on volunteer drivers to cover the second position, but when no volunteers are available, we are required to pay full or part time personnel to cover that second position.
Cost BreakdownSalary: $241,000
The ambulance district does not have a station, and our ambulances, supplies, and equipment reside at St. Luke’s Medical Center.
When we began contracting with Ambulance Resources, we were required by contract to provide housing for their staff. Currently, we maintain an apartment at the Northern Lights Apartments for staff that reside out of the 5 minute response zone of Crosby.
Housing Total: $10,500
Every time we have a patient, we bill their insurance. Medical billing is a complicated process between all of the different insurance companies and billing inappropriately (whether intentional or not) is a common reason for services to be charged in federal courts. We pay a billing company, Metro Ambulance & Billing, $22 per call they bill for us.
Additionally, the North Dakota Tax Commissioner requires we receive a financial audit every year. This audit is done to the Government Accounting Standards. As of 2018, the audit cost was approximately $7,000.
Yearly Audit: $7,000
Management Total: $10,500
We receive income in a few different ways.
At the end of 2019, we were notified by the Department of Health that although we were eligible for Rural EMS Grant funding, we would not be receiving any. This is a large departure from previous years: in 2016/2017 alone we received $165,000 in grant funding.
We’re not alone, however. Multiple services did not receive grant funding, and even those that did received grant funding only received 79% of their allotted grant amount.
We have submitted our 2021 budget to the Divide County’s Auditor’s Office. Click the button below to read/download it.
The volunteer model hasn’t just become unsustainable, it’s been this way for years.
In 2018 we moved from a staffing company to employees ran by us. A few reasons we switched:
We recognize cost was not one of those factors at that time. There are reasons we believe keeping the ambulance district local is important:
Yes, and we have! We have “trimmed the fat” so to speak – we have a lean budget that’s mostly taken up by personnel costs. Here’s a few measures we’ve taken:
We encourage residents and taxpayers to come to our meetings – the next is September 16th at 6pm, and is hosted at the Divide County Courthouse.
702 1st Street • Crosby, ND 58730
PO Box 31 • Crosby ND 58730