The Alburgh Fire Department owes $3,000, but in the most recent fiscal year when data is available, took a $77,000 loss.
The increase is needed to keep pace with the rising cost of medical supplies and other necessities and will help “offset other costs within the department,” according to Fire Chief Steven Locke.
While Vermont residents can get doses of the drug naloxone at no cost via a state-run pilot program, ambulance services have had to pay full price. But the state plans to begin purchasing and distributing naloxone for free to medics.
The Brattleboro-based ambulance service is seeking state permits to leave its substation at Grace Cottage Hospital and move into a much larger building in West Townshend. Officials say the move will allow for additional staff and equipment in the West River Valley.
The state may impose a 3.3 percent tax on ambulance providers, use federal money to roughly double the revenue, and then give almost all the money back in the form of higher Medicaid reimbursements.
Increased demand from Medicaid patients is proving costly. Possible solutions include a boost in Medicaid reimbursement and a new provider tax, but some also wonder if the services should be regulated by the Green Mountain Care Board.