There are many operating expenses related to running an ambulance service. The vehicles and building must be paid for and maintained, fuel must be purchased in large quantities, and medical equipment and supplies must be paid for. Medical supplies are becoming progressively more expensive and expiring supplies means they must be discarded if not used by the end date. We may have to throw away supplies that cost hundreds of dollars to purchase. Maintaining a paid paramedic in-house and weekday EMT staffing when most volunteers are at work is also a very significant expense. Although we would like to operate based only on donations from the community, this is not even remotely possible. While we have a contract with the Town of Sand Lake to provide service, that contract barely covers half the cost of operation. One of our goals is to keep the cost of the Town contract as low as possible. Billing insurance companies and other health care insurers helps reduce significantly the size of the contract the Town needs to sign. The time our volunteers contribute is the equivalent of over a quarter of a million dollars a year compared to a paid agency.