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Lingle EMS to begin billing for services

LINGLE – The Lingle Volunteer Fire Department will soon begin billing for emergency medical services response and care. 

“The reason we are billing is due to an increase in equipment costs, the number of calls received, and the many miles we are traveling to respond to calls,” Fire Chief Kasey Bangerter said. “We didn’t want to bill, but we have come to the point where we will have to begin biling in order to keep our ambulance service.”

Medical equipment sales continue to rise, and the service is continually struggling to afford quality medical equipment for use in the ambulance. According to the National Association of Emergency Medical Technician’s 2023 National Survey for EMS Economic and Operational Models, the cost of supplies and equipment rose by 12% from 2019-2022. Additionally, ambulance prices increased by 10%.

“We want to continue to provide ambulance services to our community, and the cost of medical supplies has gone up to the point that we can no longer survive on just donations,” Lingle EMS Director Tabitha Lambert said. “With billing, we can continue to run the ambulance and hopefully upgrade to a higher level of care to serve our citizens better and reduce the strain on already strained resources in our county. Also, billing will help us put away money for a new ambulance before it’s in dire need of replacement, as in the past, so our service remains reliable and safe for our patients. I want to continue to improve Lingle EMS, which will be a possibility with billing. I  am very proud of the progress Lingle EMS has already made and the people who volunteer their time to help make it happen. We’ve got an excellent and knowledgeable team who drop their everyday life responsibilities to help our neighbors and strangers alike.”

Another factor causing additional costs to Lingle’s EMS service is the acquisition of Fort Laramie’s emergency medical response area as a primary response area for Lingle. The Fort Laramie Volunteer Fire Department sold its ambulance in 2022 and acquired a rescue unit in 2023. The rescue unit is equipped to respond to emergency medical events and provide emergency care but is not capable of transporting patients.

With the change in Fort Laramie’s equipment and capabilities, Lingle EMS’s primary response area now extends from the Lingle area to roughly the Niobrara and Platte County lines. Lingle EMS is committed to providing the highest level of quality care to patients in the area with the quickest and safest response possible, ensuring the community’s health and safety. 

The Lingle Volunteer Fire Department would like to make it clear that they are not billing customers to make money. Instead, the department is dedicated to providing an ambulance service and caring for guests and citizens with the highest quality of care. Due to the rising costs of the ambulance service, the department had no choice but to begin billing to continue providing high-quality emergency medical care and transport.