A meeting was held on Monday, September 9 at 7 pm at the Mint Hill Fire Department on Fairview Road to discuss the future of ambulance service in Mint Hill and to provide the public with information on the current challenges facing the department which serves over 27,000 people.
Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department’s board chairman Jerry Mullis welcomed the crowd and set the agenda for the evening.
“The purpose of this meeting is to explain the improvements within our department to our community,” he said. “We want to explain the approach on our plan to charge for EMS service for transportation to a hospital.”
Mullis used historical data and information about current trends across the country to explain the need to raise funds to support additional positions for staff who would be solely responsible for EMS transport services.
“For 38 years we have provided free service for transportation to a hospital,” says Mullis, “Now we’re about the only volunteer fire department that provides transportation to hospitals, period.”
Life-long Mint Hill resident and current Fire Chief John Phillips started his career in 1974 at age 16.
“A lot has changed since I joined the department,” says Phillips. “If we’re going to continue the level of service the people of Mint Hill deserve, we need to take measures to keep up with the growth.”
Population increases as well as economic growth that has come with the completion of I-485, has the department stretched to the breaking point.
In reviewing the call data, MHVFD reports a 1,323 percent increase in call volume from 1999 to 2012. According their records, the department responded to 252 calls in all of 1999. In 2012, that number jumped remarkably to 3,334. By the end of 2013, that number is expected to keep pace with the 10 to 15 percent annual growth and reach around 3,600 calls.
The increase has not been impetus for Mecklenburg County to provide more funding. In fact, any funding that the department has been receiving from Mecklenburg County will be phased out by July, 2014.
The need to raise funds in now greater than ever, and charging insurance companies for ambulance service for transportation to a hospital for Mint Hill residents is what the department will be doing beginning around October 1, 2013.
Billing will occur for ambulance services provided to all those who reside outside of Mint Hill.
The goal is to hire six new employees whose sole responsibility will be to provide EMS transport services.
“Our current staff provides both fire suppression and EMS transport services,” says Chief Phillips.
The intention is to have the money raised through billing provide the necessary funds for hiring the additional personnel.
At this point the funding is critical to keeping the level of service citizens are used to.
“Without charging we would have to cease providing EMS transport,” says Chief Phillips.
The next public meeting will be September 23, 2013 at 7:00 pm at 8313 Fairview Road in Mint Hill. Call 704-491-6324 for more information, or email Chief Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org
Free movie screening at Blair Road United Methodist
Season of Miracles, the latest movie from Elevating Entertainment, has an official release date of October 1, but Blair Road United Methodist Church will host an early release screening of the new family friendly movie on September 13 at 7:00 pm. This is the third feature film produced by Mint Hill native Dave Moody and his son Josh.
Season of Miracles tells the story of the Robins, an underdog Little League team in the deep south who turn their season around when newcomer and autistic baseball savant, Rafer (Grayson Russell, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Talladega Nights) joins their team. Continue reading
Dunwells Custom Kitchen and Pour House will host a fundraising lunch on Wednesday, September 18 from 11 am to 3 pm at 7110 Brighton Park Drive in Mint Hill. The restaurant will donate 20 percent of all sales to the Matthews Free Medical Clinic, which serves uninsured patients from anywhere in Mecklenburg and Union Counties.
The clinic had very humble beginnings back in February 2004. Patients were seen one evening a week under the direction of
Lou Ann McAdams, MD, Medical Director, and Gail Dokes, RN, Executive Director. Operating costs for the clinic’s first year were donated by Matthews United Methodist Church along with individual donors. Continue reading
The crowds were out at Matthews Alive, the annual Labor Day weekend family arts and crafts festival in down- town Matthews that draws more than 200,000 attendees each year and con- tinues to grow. Independence High School, Blessed Assurance and the Matthews-Mint Hill Indian Guides marched in the parade. Local potter Althea Meade-Hadjuk was one of the featured artists in the Hendrick Arts and Crafts Pavilion, and artist Bar- bara Travell’s work was exhibited in the new McDowell Arts Center.
The 2013 tractor and hit and miss engine show will be held from 9 am to 3 pm Sep- tember 28 at the Carl J. McEwen Historic Village. There will be vintage tractors and farm equipment, cow pie Bingo, gold panning, food and music.
It’s not too late to register to bring your old tractor or hit or miss engine. There
is no entry fee. Call Dale at 704-506- 7773. For more information, contact www.minthillhistory .com or info@minthill history.com.