EMS PROGRAM UPDATE: City Council Considers EMS Program Fee Increases to Cover Actual Costs Associated with Emergency Medical Services Provided by the Canyon Lake Fire Department.

The program was established in 2019. In 2020 the City began collecting fees for this program. The City has kept the EMS Subscription Fee the same at $192 per year for the last three years and the Response Fee decreased from the initial $1,483 to $1,356, despite ongoing cost increases. As such, the City has been subsidizing the overall cost of EMS services year-over-year. The City can adjust EMS Program fees as costs fluctuate based on true actual costs of providing emergency medical services. The City cannot charge more than the actual cost of providing services. The City can choose if they have the financial ability to subsidize program costs to keep the fees lower for community members. A fee study conducted, using cost recovery calculations based on full costs of services has recently been completed. The proposed fees demonstrate updated amounts for this year and were calculated by the user fee study. 
This year, the City was projected to run at a deficit of $491,191, in which reserves were not included in original fee calculations that the City must set aside. Subsidizing costs have caused a running deficit of more than $1.7 million, resulting in a proposed fee increase of $117 per year per subscriber to cover service costs. This is an additional increase of $9.75 per month and covers a subscriber’s entire household and any guests for EMS services. In addition to cost increases, the City has changed its EMS services dramatically by establishing the Canyon Lake Fire Department and, most recently, purchasing Fire Station 1. These actions have ensured the City has greater local control and certainty in the future over costs, while still providing residents with high quality services. As costs continue to increase dramatically, taking into consideration the all-time high inflation in the United States, increased by more than 18% from 2020 to 2023, caused significant challenges for cities, particularly in terms of public safety costs. Currently, more than 80% of calls for service by the Canyon Lake Fire Department are for EMS calls. Based on the City's five-year financial projections and current threats to local revenue sources, the City is suggesting we no longer subsidize fees and raise them to adequately cover these costs to ensure the highest level of services to our residents can continue to be provided for years to come. 
If interested, watch the City Council meeting from February 14, 2024, where staff provided a presentation and the City Council discussed the EMS Program fees, click here (scroll towards the end of the meeting for this topic).