Sylvania Township trustees have established a new budget line and funded it with a $75,000 loan from the township's general fund for the beginning stages of an ambulance service, to be operated as part of the fire department.
The funds will be used for initial lease payments and for supplies and equipment that will be needed for two ambulances ordered for the service.
The fire department has ordered a used ambulance that will cost $40,000 for a three-year lease and about $25,000 to be made ready for service.
A second, new ambulance, will be on hand later and will cost about $140,000 spread over a five-year lease period.
Brad Peebles, township administrator, said a separate budget item was decided on so careful and ongoing checks can be made of the financial situation of the new program.
Trustees have approved an ambulance service because firefighters say they can provide continuity of care for people requiring hospital treatment and that they should be able to save money for residents who need transportation to the hospital.
The department responds to medical emergencies and injuries and provides initial treatment, but people are usually taken to the hospital via private ambulance or by a Lucas County life squad.
Firefighters told trustees that they sometimes wait at the scene of someone ill or injured and then pass that person off to the unit that provides transportation to the hospital.
They said that if they were operating an ambulance they could save time in taking the person to the hospital and that individual would continue to be cared for by the same emergency medical technicians.
The township will not bill residents for any out-of-pocket cost, but will accept the payment of insurance carriers. No decision has been made on how to handle fees owed by non-residents.
Billing for the service is to be handled by an outside contractor.
The new budget item is what will be watched to determine if the service can pay for itself, as fire department administrators have said.