LINCOLN, Maine — Leaders from East Millinocket, Lincoln and Penobscot Valley Hospital have finished negotiations that will launch the two towns’ ambulance service on June 30 at 6 p.m., Town Manager William Lawrence said.
Lawrence’s announcement comes as Millinocket and Howland, two other northern Penobscot County towns, hope to combine efforts to post a Millinocket Fire Department ambulance in Howland, much the way that East Millinocket’s fire department ambulance will be stationed at the Lincoln Public Safety Building.
On Monday, Lincoln’s Town Council approved a sidebar agreement with the town firefighters’ union that allows the combination of services, Lawrence said.
The council voted unanimously in March to agree to a three-year contract by which East Millinocket Fire Department ambulance workers and two ambulances will be stationed at the public safety building.
The ambulance service, which will be run by East Millinocket’s fire department in conjunction with Lincoln’s, will replace the one offered by Penobscot Valley Hospital of Lincoln.
Penobscot Valley CEO David Shannon has said that the hospital was considering dropping its ambulance service because it was unprofitable. Former Lincoln Fire Chief Phil Dawson told councilors that the towns could draw revenue from the service because federal and state reimbursement rates are higher for municipalities than hospitals.
The new combined service would cover about 1,200 square miles, the 14-town region Penobscot Valley presently covers. Lincoln would provide drivers, while East Millinocket would provide emergency medical technicians and pay for four hours of overtime to fill in when both ambulances are handling emergencies, Dawson said.
East Millinocket would pay Lincoln $75 per call. About $90,000 would be generated with 1,200 calls and $112,500 would come from 1,500 calls.