ESTILL COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — The gas prices are hiking for everyone and that includes first responders.
In March, we learned how Estill County EMS was struggling with rising costs. Now, as they set their budget for the upcoming fiscal year, their director has had to make some changes.
"Our budget is still climbing, climbing, climbing when it comes to our fuel costs," said Jimmie Wise, director of Estill County EMS.
Wise says they're not a big operation, but the price hike combined with rising equipment costs is hurting.
"We went over about $30,000 over," he said. "And that's a lot of money for a small service. Those doors have to go up and come down. We have to make runs no matter what happens."
Wise is working to keep things afloat. He says there's no reason to panic, but he has had to make changes.
"We've had to double our budget from last year when it comes to fuel," he said. "You don't think about it, but we're not just making EMS runs."
Wise says there are events in the community and non-emergency calls they make to help citizens.
"A lot of times the cut may come from equipment," Wise says regarding where the money comes from to increase the fuel budget. "It may come from certain parts of training. Biggest thing we're cutting back on is we're getting more out of our trucks. Our trucks, instead of having to rotate them out at 200,000 miles, we're pushing back to 300,000."
Wise says current equipment and trucks still work, but having newer equipment will help rotate older items to a more backup use, should that need arise.