Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and the Montgomery County Volunteer Fire-Rescue Association are pleased to announce that an agreement between the County and the Volunteer Association has been reached that will improve fire and rescue services for residents and visitors in Montgomery County. The agreement will boost communication, promote further cooperation and enhance the volunteer contribution to the County’s combined volunteer and career emergency fire and rescue service.
The County’s Emergency Medical Transportation Insurance Reimbursement Act, which will take effect January 1, 2013, will raise an additional $18 million a year that will be dedicated to additional staffing, apparatus, facilities and equipment – all at no cost to County residents. The money will come from insurance company reimbursements for medical transport. No County resident will ever receive a bill, pay a co-pay or deductible. Non-County residents will receive a bill that can be submitted to their insurers for reimbursement. Those without insurance will be able to file for a waiver of the fees.
“Although we are concerned that non-County residents will receive a bill for emergency transport, we do not support a referendum on the Emergency Medical Transportation Insurance Reimbursement Act,” said Montgomery County Volunteer Fire-Rescue Association President Marcine Goodloe. “The fire and rescue service enhancements that will result from this agreement are too critical to jeopardize. The Act will result in significant improvements to emergency services and the safety of County residents.
“County residents, the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service and career and volunteer personnel will benefit from enhanced fire and rescue service with the implementation of Emergency Medical Transportation Insurance Reimbursement Act,” said Goodloe. This agreement fosters a relationship of trust and support and recognizes the valued contributions by our volunteer fire, rescue and emergency medical services personnel.”
“The State of Maryland has decided to shift to Montgomery County what could very well be more than $400 million over 10 years in state teacher pension costs,” said County Executive Isiah Leggett. The State has also approved a new ‘Maintenance of Effort’ law on school funding that could force us to add millions more to our reserves each year above and beyond what we already do. These are changed circumstances of monumental significance. The additional revenue the County will receive from insurance reimbursements is vital. It will enable us to enhance fire and rescue services to keep pace with population growth, without cutting other essential County services.
“I appreciate the work and efforts by our County officials and representatives from the Montgomery County Volunteer Fire-Rescue Association,” said Leggett. “In particular I want to acknowledge Montgomery County Volunteer Fire-Rescue Association President Marcine Goodloe, Executive Director Eric Bernard and Counsel John Bentivolio for their leadership and efforts in forging this agreement.”