FWFD, TRAA Reach Agreement On Ambulance Services

Nov 18, 2016

Credit Zach Bernard/WBOI News

In early October, the Fort Wayne Fire Department announced they would pursue full operation of ambulance services in Fort Wayne.

The Three Rivers Ambulance Authority fought the move. Despite the tension between the two groups, an agreement has been reached.

A big reason for the initial conflict was money.

The FWFD felt too much of TRAA’s money was being sent to its parent company in Texas, and believed they weren’t being compensated for their own EMS services.

In an announcement on Thursday, the fire department announced that TRAA will provide funding to the FWFD to offset the costs of having a paramedic or advanced EMT on every fire engine.

This allows TRAA to keep local ambulance services while allowing FWFD to have more emergency services available.

Fort Wayne fire chief Eric Lahey said the department initially felt the only way to have medics on every engine was to take full control of ambulance services.

“Going through this debate process, this engagement between the two entities, we realized there might be another alternative,” said Lahey. “That alternative being, there was money available to TRAA that we could use to offset those costs.”

TRAA executive director Gary Booher calls the agreement a win-win.

“It met their goals, it met our goals of staying in business and continuing to provide the care we provide, and it met the community’s goals of having the best pre-hospital health care possible,” said Booher.

The decision still needs to be approved by TRAA’s board of directors. The agreement, if approved, will take effect on January 1.