In 2009, when Fire Chief Tom Burgasser was told to cut 20% of his budget, he knew exactly what to do.
Transporting patients to the hospital instead of handing them over to a private ambulance company seemed like a no-brainer, the chief recalled more than 10 years later.
It cut out the middle man. It would decrease the department’s spending while increasing revenue. It would save the residents money.
The Massillon Fire Department reached its 10th anniversary of transporting patients at the beginning of the year. In a decade, the Fire Department generated more than $7.3 million in revenue and saved residents nearly $2.8 million in EMS fees.
“We did everything,” Burgasser said. “We treated the patient. We responded to the scene. We did all of those things. The only thing we didn’t do is put them in the back of the ambulance and take them to the hospital.”