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Samaritan EMS confirms subscription price, shows off new ambulances

Multiple representatives from Samaritan EMS visited Tuesday’s work session before the regularly-scheduled City Council meeting to confirm the subscription price and show Council members the new ambulances.
Jason Likens, chief operating officer for Samaritan, came to speak to City Council and citizens at the previous City Council meeting on Feb. 7. During his previous visit, Likens talked about a membership subscription program, but was unable to speak on the cost of the program as they were waiting on the opinion of the Inspector General and were unable to speculate. Likens also guaranteed the Council he would inform them of the amount as soon as it was available.
Likens presented the amount of $43.80 per year during Tuesday’s work session, then again to the Council and the citizens as a visitor at Tuesday’s meeting. The subscription comes to about $1.20 less than EMSA’s subscription rate.
When previously discussing the program at the Feb. 7 City Council meeting, Likens stated it would likely cost more than EMSA, so Mayor John Alberts joked with him during the work session stating “you lied, sir.”
Likens, the city manager and Council members mentioned looking into the possibility of charging the fee through residents’ monthly water bills, equaling out to an extra $3.65 per month. Citizens not interested in the program would have the option to opt out if it were to go into effect.
City Manager Jim Crosby said that would be something Council members would have to look into and discuss in the future, if citizens are interested.
Likens also introduced Base Manager Jim McClung to Council members during the work session. McClung previously worked as an EMSA medic in Yukon for seven years. He also knows Fire Chief Kevin Jones and Police Chief John Corn.
“We’re happy to have [McClung] on board,” Likens said.
Others representatives who attended the meeting included Logistics Officer Laura McKnight, Business Development Director Brett Selvidge and Tyler, a Samaritan medic.
After introductions, Samaritan representatives, Council members, the city manager and other work session attendees went out into the parking lot to see one of the new ambulances Samaritan officials brought to show off.
The ambulance was not yet wrapped or equipped, but was just to show the Council what the new style of ambulances look like.
The new ambulances are a forward facing design, which is a different style than what the people of Yukon are used to as they are much smaller and less boxy. They are equipped with the same number of supplies and equipment required by law.
“It’s just a much more efficient use of space,” Liken said.
Another designer out of Canada won top award for safety because of this style of design, Likens said.
“With this particular design, if the patient is laying on that stretcher that chair canters out so it allows me to sit and physically interact with the patient, provide treatments, medications, so forth and so on,” he said. “The other thing it does is—if the ambulance is involved in a collision, everything goes forward away from the patient so it’s just a much safer design.”
Likens also said that Samaritan medics were nervous about the new ambulances, but the drive was smoother than other ambulances and said they think they’ll be able to give better care inside of them.
“They’re like ‘the ride is so much better, it’s going to be the best ride we’ve ever given anyone,’” he said. “The big boxes are heavy. They’re a pickup truck with a big box on the back. I mean that’s really all they are.”
Likens also mentioned that they are more fuel-efficient, with about twice the miles per gallon, and that the tires for this style are much more efficient. A full set of tires for this design is about $300 compared to almost $1,200 on the bigger and boxier styles. If the engine goes out on this style, it costs about $4,000 compared to $10,000.
“Everything about these is just more cost efficient,” Likens said.
Likens informed the Council that everything is still running on schedule and they will be ready to begin serving the City of Yukon on March 5.

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