The Village of Minoa is changing the way it provides ambulance service. Monday night, it entered into a shared services agreement with the WAVES, a local not-for-profit ambulance service.
The village will still own the ambulance and equipment, but the employees on the ambulance will now be employed by WAVES. Officials say people in Minoa won't notice much of a difference, and response times will either improve or remain the same.
Mayor Dick Donovan says with less money coming in from county sales tax, and the rising cost of healthcare and retirement the village could no longer afford to run the ambulance service. "If we did not do this, we would have had to disband the service. With the county sales tax last year this village lost a quarter of a million dollars," he said.
Sharing services is expected to save the village $55,000. Minoa leaders have the power to abolish this agreement but both the village and WAVES think the partnership will improve services.
"You'll see community training, WAVES has an active community training program, we do lots of CPR and babysitting classes. I think this is a win win for everyone," said WAVES Executive Director Al Kalfass. "I know some people are upset and not prepared for this but I do think in the end this will turn out good for everyone."
The hope is that WAVES will hire the 8 former village ambulance workers. Monday night they were interviewed, WAVES says it will evaluate it's workforce and decide how many to hire in the coming days.