March 10, 2023 - Mayor Tom Henry today announced that he has directed his Administration to present a plan to City Council that would provide supplemental funding assistance for a period of time to Three Rivers Ambulance Authority (TRAA).
A resolution approving a funding agreement between the City of Fort Wayne and TRAA will be presented to City Council for possible introduction at the Council’s next meeting on Tuesday, March 14. The agreement would provide $3 million in funding to TRAA. The organization would provide monthly cash flow statements so the City may monitor TRAA’s fiscal performance and need for funding. In addition, TRAA would reimburse the City for the amounts funded pursuant to the funding agreement as it is reasonably able to do so, as directed by written notice from the City Controller.
In order to attract and retain staff sufficient to sustain and improve ambulance services, TRAA committed funds outside the scope of its originally-approved budget to pay appropriate wages and cover costs associated with the improvements to the provision of ambulance services, which in turn required TRAA to draw on cash reserves, a course of action which was disclosed in advance to the City and Allen County.
TRAA now requires an infusion of funds to stabilize and sustain operations, even as it is in the process of demonstrating improvement in performance. The City believes that supporting TRAA and assisting in maintaining successful and reliable ambulance services is in the best interests of the City and County.
Late last month, the City Administration received a financial assistance request from TRAA. The County was also presented with a funding request from TRAA. As partners in an interlocal agreement with the County on TRAA matters, the City eagerly awaits a response from the Allen County Board of Commissioners on whether financial help will come from the County as well. City and County councils, as the fiscal bodies, would be tasked with voting on requests to financially support TRAA and their efforts to provide quality ambulance services to the community.
Reliable, timely, and efficient ambulance service is a top priority in the City. Mayor Henry continues to work with City Administration senior staff, the TRAA board of directors, and TRAA leadership to ensure that residents continue to receive life-saving care.
Throughout this entire process of TRAA experiencing changes and challenges, Mayor Henry has received regular reports from the Director of TRAA and the Mayoral appointees to the TRAA Board. Mayor Henry continues to be encouraged by the impressive progress that TRAA has made within a few short months, and he will continue to support TRAA’s efforts to increase staffing and generate self-sustaining revenue.
“Residents can be assured that they’ll continue to receive ambulance service now and in the future without interruption. Public safety has been and continues to be a top priority,” said Mayor Henry.
“We are beyond pleased with the progress TRAA has made since taking over operations only six months ago. The rapid success is primarily attributed to the hard work and commitment of our management team and staff who are working in the community every day to keep the people of Fort Wayne and the greater Allen County area safe. The mayor, his administration, and City Council have been actively engaged, supportive and available to TRAA through this transition. The financial ask has been part of that ongoing conversation. Our community should be proud to know that when it mattered most, politics were set aside, and safety and the well-being of all of Allen County was the driving force of all involved in this process,” said Rachel Guin, president, TRAA board of directors.