FORT WORTH – Individuals, families, and emergency management services are all feeling the strain of rising fuel costs.
MedStar, in Fort Worth, says it budgets for fuel but doesn’t budget for the dramatic increase in fuel prices we are seeing.
The ambulance service says for June 2022 it’s on track to spend nearly triple what it spent in June of last year.
For Leticia Sanchez on Saturday, half a tank is $50.00.
The pain at the pump plus her other increase in expenses forced the Fort Worth mother to get a second job.
“It does put a big dent in my bank account,” Sanchez said.
Just feet away from the gas station where she is at, it’s the same struggle for first responders.
“Right now it’s like hold on tight let’s see where it takes us,” John Hamilton, an operations supervisor with MedStar, said.
Halfway through the year, MedStar E-M-S is already dipping into its rainy-day-fund to keep its 50 ambulances fueled.
Hamilton says the fuel bill in May 2021 was $96,000. This May, it was $235,000.
For June, they are expecting it to be even higher.
MedStar services all of Fort Worth and 14 other member cities, covering more than 430 square miles using diesel fuel.
While already dealing with a staffing shortage, the current average price for diesel fuel in the Fort Worth/Arlington area as of Saturday is a record $5.44.
To keep up with the price hike, MedStar is looking at where they can make cuts to save cash, most likely equipment.
“Some new items we might want to look for but now be put on the back burner,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton assures, “we will always be coming to the call.” They will not cut corners to sacrifice service.
“I try not to look, $4.75,” Bill Noah, pumping gas this weekend, said.
He is cutting down on non-essential trips out. But Saturday he faced the bill, paying for only the miles he needs.
“This is our sometimes car. So I am not putting a whole lot of gas in it,” Noah said.