Mason City leaders last night approved a plan for the city fire department to start its own ambulance service. The move squeezes out a private company that’s handled the community’s emergency transportation for 55 years, though Snell’s Ambulance recently requested a 300-thousand dollar subsidy to stay in business. Councilman John Jaszewski says the fire department’s proposal was best for the citizens. He says the fire department says it can start up the service and run it while charging patients 50 to 100 dollars less per run, without needing any subsidy. Councilman Jeff Marsters says people have consistently told him they support the fire department’s bid.Marsters says he feels more comfortable from a long-term sense going with the fire department, but Councilwoman Lori Henry disagreed. She questioned the financial aspects of the fire department’s proposal. She says once government takes over a service, it’s very difficult to then abandon or withdrawl from the service.The City Council also approved inviting the other communities currently served by Snell’s to a meeting to discuss their possible wants and needs for the fire department to serve their areas with ambulance service as well.
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