CANTON — The selectmen overturned their vote from their last meeting in August and decided to give 15% of the town’s State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, part of the American Rescue Plan Act, to Med-Care Ambulance in Mexico.

Much of what changed their minds was that Paul Landry, Med-Care Ambulance’s chief of service and director of operations attended their meeting to further explain the agency’s initial request letter for funds. The letter was sent to each of the 11 towns Med-Care provides ambulance and emergency services for.

According to the letter dated Aug. 8, the agency is “not eligible to receive any direct funding from the State or Federal Government, meaning Med-Care received zero funding from the first disbursement and will be dependent on our member towns for the second disbursement.”

The Med-Care letter goes on to state that its services have been “impacted by the pandemic in a variety of ways. The financial impacts are numerous.”

At Thursday’s selectmen’s meeting, Landry said he had seen the Sun Journal article regarding the selectmen’s vote against approving his agency’s request for funds and “just wanted the opportunity to come in and speak a little bit” to tell the selectmen “… how Med-Care functions.”

Landry told the selectmen the agency’s budget is “funded 78% through medical billing (and) it’s funded 22% through the taxation, which is the $30 per capita (in) subsidies that the towns see.”


He also explained that although Medicaid and Medicare also fund the agency, the $30 per capita that the towns pay also covers all emergency calls when the service does not transport patients by ambulance, which is when they cannot recoup their costs.

“So, if we go to somebody’s house and we perform a cardiac arrest and we have two crews there, working on that patient for an hour, … and we’re not able to resuscitate that person and they’re not transported, then it, all of that, is a no pay,” Landry said.

He also said that the funds from the recent requests to the 11 towns would be used to establish a plan to raise capital for the agency. The money would be used for items such as stretchers and toward a $96,000 mobile radio system which needs to be replaced within a year, he said. He is also pursuing grants to cover the cost of the radio system, he noted.

Selectman Chairperson Don Hutchins told Landry the “perception that is in our town is that Med-care is too expensive, which I don’t believe that, by the way, and they are tired of having requests coming in, at the last minute for money.” Hutchins added that he felt “there seems to be reasons for all of these things (Landry spoke about) and they are reasonable.”

Selectman Carole Robbins thanked Landry for “being proactive” by working on grants for the agency and seeking to realign the agency’s fiscal budget year along with the towns it serves. Selectman Russell Adams asked if the towns could receive a budget report from the agency to which Landry agreed.

In other business, the selectmen approved and updated the town’s citizen complaint policy which states that “all complaints must be made at the Town Office, in writing (in person, by U.S. mail, or by email) and signed by the person making the complaint. The policy also states that “citizens with non-employee concerns or complaints are invited to attend Select Board meetings to more fully explain the details (of their complaints).”

Med-Care Ambulance’s Chief of Service and Director of Operations Paul Landry attended the Canton selectmen’s meeting at the Town Office meeting room Thursday to explain the agency’s services and a request for funds from each of the 11 towns it services. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

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