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  • When was the last time Bensalem Emergency Medical Services had an increase in tax funding?
    Our last tax increase for funding was in 2010.
  • What is Bensalem Emergency Medical Services?
    Bensalem Emergency Medical Services is a private non-profit ambulance company serving Bensalem Township. We are not a township entity. We are the only emergency medical services ambulance company in Bucks County Pennsylvania that only services a single municipality, Bensalem Township. One out of every 7 calls to 911 for emergency medical services in Bucks County Pennsylvania occur in Bensalem Township. For more information
  • How is Bensalem Emergency Medical Services funded?
    We receive funding from the following sources: 70% Insurance Billing in which we collect approximately $0.40 per dollar. 20% Tax Revenue. 10% Grants and Donations.
  • What is a referendum?
    A referendum is where voters are asked to make a “Yes” or “No” decision on a proposal, question, or idea. In the case of Bensalem Emergency Medical Services, our referendum question on the Tuesday, November 7, 2023, municipal election, is asking voters to vote “Yes” or “No” for a 1 mill tax increase for our annual funding.
  • What is the referendum question?
    The ballot question asks the voters of the Township of Bensalem whether Township Council should be authorized to increase the Township real estate tax by one (1) mill specifically for the operation and maintenance of the ambulance and rescue squads serving the Township. One (1) mill is equal to one dollar per $1,000 of a property’s assessed value. Currently, the Township collects 1.7 mills for the operation and maintenance of the ambulance and rescue squads. The effect of this ballot question, if adopted, would increase the total mills allotted specifically for the operation and maintenance of the Township’s ambulance and rescue squads to 2.7 mills.”
  • What is a mill?
    A mill is not a million dollars. A mill rate is a figure many municipalities use to calculate your property taxes. One mill is one thousandth of a dollar. Thus, a mill rate of 1 means you pay $1 in taxes for every $1,000 of your property's assessed value. For the average home in Bensalem Township, 1 mill amounts to approximately $22 per year.
  • What will the increased funding be used for?
    Personnel There is a national shortage of paramedics and EMTs. Our agency needs personnel to staff ambulances 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 365 days a year. Overall, staffing in emergency medical services has worsened since the COVID-19 pandemic as many paramedic training programs ceased operations or postponed training programs in addition to many existing personnel leaving the industry. The shortage of paramedics and EMTs has caused agencies to aggressively increase pay to staff ambulances. This is a similar problem that hospitals are currently experiencing combating the nursing shortage crisis. Furthermore, we need to add staffing to protect our community as it continues to grow. Training Including mentoring time, it takes one year to become an EMT and up to three years to become a paramedic. We need to keep our personnel trained to the highest level to ensure that our community receives the best possible care in times of emergency. Every emergency is different. While some are relatively simple to address, others are often complex requiring additional training to prepare our staff to be ready for any situation they may face. Future Capital Costs A new ambulance with no equipment currently costs $270,000. With added equipment that cost soars even higher. This represents a 64% increase in costs for equipment over the past 10 years. Advances in technology and safety regulations have increased costs of other capital equipment even more than expected. For example, a new heart monitor used to assess and treat patients costs $40,000. A new state of the art ambulance stretcher costs nearly $19,000. The costs do not stop there. Many of these items have annual maintenance fees associated with them that cost Bensalem Emergency Medical Services thousands of dollars. Summary The above represents today’s costs. While we can budget for the future, we truly do not know what our actual operating costs may be. It is also unknown what advances in equipment and technology will be available in the future to improve our ability to care for those experiencing emergencies. Increased funding is needed not only to ensure we have staff to answer your calls for help, but to ensure they have the best equipment possible to care for the community safely and effectively over the next decade.
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