Trinity Life Support Community Service (TLSCSD) began ambulance operations as a special district July 1, 2021. Previously Trinity County Life Support, non-profit, July 1993 to July 2021.
Trinity County Voters approved formation of the special district for ambulance service and a $45 per year parcel tax to support ambulance operations in the General Election of November 2020.
This community support, though generous, provided the means only to continue ambulance service as it was, struggling to recruit and retain medical staff with a non-competitive wage and work shift. Paramedic staffing was at an all-time low due to these factors and a paramedic shortage across the Country.
Community feedback was consistent, “Local citizens cannot support a larger tax. Find a way.” Supervisor Jill Cox was instrumental in beginning new talks between local Trinity Hospital and the ambulance district.
To preserve local ambulance service to the community, TLSCSD has entered into an agreement with Mountain Communities Healthcare District, wherein employees of the ambulance district became employees of the hospital. Staff have received a generous raise and recruitment/hiring is underway. Ambulance billing also transitioned to Trinity Hospital effective July 17, 2022.
For our part of the agreement, TLSCSD is responsible for facilities and ambulances, and has committed to purchasing two new ambulances in a two-year period, retiring a 2002 and a 2008 ambulance late this year. This will be followed shortly by the purchase of a third ambulance, and a timely replacement schedule going forward. We’re making long term plans for station improvement a reality.
Together, with the hospital greatly improving pay for EMTs and paramedics, and TLSCSD providing and maintaining safe and secure ambulances and stations in Weaverville and Hayfork, we will ultimately stabilize and improve local ambulance service. Our agencies have always worked together well for the benefit of the patient. This arrangement is a big step that feels right for the community.