City finds workable solution on ambulance

There is the ideal, for which society will always be striving, with many voices and views in the mix. Then there is what exists now and how people with differing views are going to deal with it.

One reality in Fairmont is a desire to maintain top-quality emergency services, such as ambulance service. One way the city has helped facilitate this goal is to provide space at the fire station for an ambulance. This arrangement pre-dates current ambulance provider Gold Cross.

Some city leaders in recent months rightly questioned whether Gold Cross should continue paying $1 per year, rather than something more substantial. The City Council decided that the city administrator should re-negotiate a lease, and that’s what he did, presenting an annual lease of $22,400 to the council this week. The lease is good for no more than three years, and it appears Gold Cross will look for a new place to park its ride in the meantime. In a 4-1 vote, the council approved the deal.

Councilman Terry Anderson – the no vote – questioned the decision. He asked why a private enterprise is in a public building, and said he wants them out by the end of the year. We suppose that’s ideal, in the sense of not showing a private business any favoritism, or something. But if the object is to retain an ambulance service in town, and be welcoming to that service, we think the council did the right thing.

There are other emergency services that are operated directly by the city, such as police and fire departments. The buildings in which they reside are paid for and maintained by taxpayers. All of this comes at great expense. Are those departments better deals than an ambulance service that actually pays the city instead of costing it?