The Ely City Council agreed to a new service agreement to be used by the Ely Volunteer Fire Department EMS when hired to provide standby emergency medical personnel at special events in the city, at their meeting on Aug. 25. The agenda item met with little discussion and was approved by a 5-0 vote.

According to the new agreement, organizations that wish to employ the services of the city’s emergency medical staff must apply 21 days in advance and will be notified within 96 hours if the city’s fire service is unable to accommodate the request.

“Although EVFD will make every reasonable effort to provide the level of service requested, no specific level of service or coverage can be guaranteed due to the nature of EMS services and that the first priority of EVFD is always to respond to 911 calls made by people within the City of Ely and abiding by any cooperative agreements in place with other entities. Please read the enclosed agreement carefully for details,” the agreement states.

Organizations that wish to, can contract with the city’s fire service for ambulance standby, which includes an ambulance and two ambulance attendants that will locate themselves at a function or event and remain dedicated to that event, and will not be available for other routine EMS calls in the area.

Standbys are subject to the availability of crews and resources, according to the agreement, and will cost organizers $75 an hour with a minimum charge of two hours.

“Due to the call volume of the Ely Volunteer Fire Department, Standby Services are subject to the availability of off-duty crews and spare ambulance units,” the agreement reads.

Even with a contract though, certain emergencies may still require the fire service to utilize the attendants/ambulance assigned to the standby. If this occurs during a scheduled standby with the agreement in place, and a lapse of onsite EMS coverage occurs, another ambulance/crew will be immediately routed to the event as soon as possible, and all fees associated with the agreement will be waived for the time an ambulance was not physically located at the event.

The agreement must be canceled in less than 96 hours or the organization will be charged for costs just the same.

Charges to the organization that contracts for EMS services only cover the costs made available to the organization and normal charges for care and transportation of patients will be the responsibility of the patient.

The hiring organization must also provide a means of shelter from the environment sufficient enough to perform the requested service and sanitation provisions for the EMS personnel if the situation deems necessary. EMS personnel providing the requested service shall not be charged for admission or entry fee to the event for which they have been requested.

“EVFD shall exercise the same degree of care, skill and diligence in the performance of the Services as is ordinarily provided by others practicing under similar circumstances in the same geographic vicinity and at the time the Services are performed,” the agreement reads.