YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The man in charge of AMR Ambulance made a plea to members of the Safety Committee of Youngstown City Council Thursday.

Regional Director Ed Powers used a computer presentation to explain the problems, saying while an average ambulance run costs about $300, Medicaid only reimburses the company $130 – a gap of 48%.

More than half of AMR’s runs involve Medicaid patients. For those without insurance, the deficit is even greater.

“We are suffering a loss every single day. We have been over the last several years,” Powers said. “On average, we collect $72, so people are going to pay when they are going to pay.”

Powers proposed Youngstown City Council pay a subsidy of $750,000 through the end of this year to offset those losses.

Members of the commitee say that works out to $62,500 per month. In exchange, AMR will staff four ambulances 24-hours a day, with the potential for fines of $5,000 a month if paramedics fail to arrive within 12 minutes of their call.

The current contract involves only three trucks, but the company only collects what it can through patient fees.

“It’ll get us a long way to getting there, compared to where we are today,” Powers said.

Committee members agreed to have legislation brought before the full Council, admitting it may take until March or April to have the agreement in place.

Members are thinking they could use American Rescue Plan money to pay for it.