Grimes urges support for CRS

November 18, 1999|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

MOUNT AETNA - Members of the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association need to stand by the Community Rescue Service if it is in financial trouble, according to association President Jay Grimes.

"We're not here to judge," he said during a Fire and Rescue Association meeting Thursday at the Mount Aetna Fire Company.

Grimes said the Fire and Rescue Association is reviewing financial information provided by officers from Community Rescue Service, who are asking for about $600,000 to make up for lost territory.

Community Rescue Service's territory includes moderate- and low-income areas of Hagerstown where bills for CRS ambulance service are not always paid, according to the ambulance company officers.


About 80 percent of Community Rescue Service's income is from billing, but only about 45 percent of the bills it sends out are paid, officials have said.

In addition, the company is required to respond with Hagerstown City Police to calls for drunks and domestic disputes. Often, no one is billed for those calls because the patient is not taken to a hospital, CRS officers said.

Community Rescue Service responds to about 6,000 calls a year, which is more than all Washington County ambulance companies combined.

Grimes said the matter is unresolved and that any conclusions would go before the Fire and Rescue Association for approval.

"We need to stand united to help each other through any crisis we may or may not have," he said.

"The bottom line is it's our job to help anybody who has a problem," said Grimes.

Grimes also discussed an agreement to adjust coverage areas for Community Rescue Service and the Williamsport Volunteer Ambulance Service.

Under the agreement, CRS would cover U.S. 40 from the Hagerstown City limits to and including West Washington Street and from Greencastle Pike south from Cearfoss to and including the intersection with Resh Road.

The Williamsport company's area would extend from Huyetts Crossroads on the Greencastle Pike up to but not including Resh Road and east from Huyetts Crossroads on U.S. 40 up to but not including West Washington Street.

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