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LAKE MOSES — A presentation by the owners of Lifeline Ambulance to the Moses Lake City Council scheduled for today’s council meeting has been postponed. Mayor Dustin Swartz said Monday he did not know when the presentation could be rescheduled.

“(Lifeline representatives) have met with staff and had discussions,” Swartz said.

Company representatives also met with Swartz, he said, but the meetings were merely discussions.

“There have been no negotiations,” he said.

Based in Wenatchee, Lifeline currently provides emergency medical services in Ephrata, Soap Lake, Warden, a small area around Quincy but outside the boundaries of Grant County Fire District 3, and rural areas surrounding the city of Moses Lake. The Moses Lake Fire Department provides emergency medical services within the city limits. Lifeline began operating in Grant County in July 2023 after the owners of American Medical Response decided to cease operations in the county.

Lifeline has a station on Arlington Drive north of Moses Lake.

The Moses Lake Fire Department has about 47 employees. Garrett Fletcher, president of Moses Lake Firefighters IAFF Local 1258, said all firefighters also work as emergency medical technicians.

“When you come to work on your first day at Moses Lake Fire, you are a firefighter-EMS or a firefighter-paramedic,” Fletcher said. “That means that when the alarms go off and there’s a fire and you’re in the ambulance that day, you go to that fire scene and fight that fire.”

According to existing MLFD procedures, crews assigned to a fire truck also respond to medical calls when needed, Fletcher said.

“When a (medical) call is so critical that you need more people, you call the fire department, and the fire department comes, and you have firefighters, paramedics, on the fire department. Every member, whether they’re paid by the fire department or the EMS, is a firefighter and (also) a paramedic or EMT,” Fletcher said.

Although all MLFD employees are trained for both roles and work out of the same fire stations, the city allocates services provided between the fire department and a separate EMS department. In the event of an incident that requires both a fire truck and an ambulance, billing is split between the two.

Residents and business owners pay an ambulance fee.

“The fee was established as a stable funding mechanism to ensure that sufficient emergency vehicles and trained personnel are available to respond to calls in the city,” MLFD Chief Brett Bastian wrote in a letter explaining the funding of the emergency services.

The city authorities also forward the insurance co-payments collected from patients to the emergency department.

The city began providing ambulance services in 2001.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached by email at [email protected].