10/23/17 – Beaver Dam Fire Chief Alan Mannel gave us an update on the department’s Interfacility Transport program on WBEV’s Community Comment. An inter-facility transport, or IFT, is a revenue-generating service that was started nine years ago by former Fire Chief George Sheets. If emergency responders are available, Beaver Dam paramedics transport patients – both critical and non-critical care – between hospitals for a fee. While private ambulance companies provide the same service and there seems to be no shortage of patients. Beaver Dam responds to 300-to-400 interfacility transports each year. The program generates enough revenue that the department is able to return 40-to-45-percent of its $2.4-million-dollar budget back to the city’s general fund each year. Mannel says available staffing is a juggling act. Ideally, part-time paramedics from other departments are on-call to handle the transports. However, qualified part-timers are hard to find and often full-time paramedics from Beaver Dam take the calls. Mannel says if personnel use overtime to respond to an Inter Facility Transport, the revenue generated is more than enough to cover the cost of the overtime. The chief says one of the frustrations is that they cannot always respond to requests for an interfacility transport. If there is a 9-1-1 emergency call, someone is going to show up in a short amount of time. Mannel says there have been cases where there have not been favorable outcomes because his department has not been able to get an interfacility ambulance out the door because of available staffing or equipment. He stresses that his department will always have their bases covered for emergency calls in Beaver Dam.