Commonwealth Journal

Local News

April 21, 2013

EMS losing life support

Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler officially withdrawing city from joint system to start new Somerset ambulance service

Somerset —

It appears the county and city may part ways over the Somerset-Pulaski County EMS operations, unless new negotiations take place within the next two months.
Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler, in an April 15 letter addressed to Pulaski County Judge-Executive Barty Bullock, states that the city intends to provide EMS service to residents inside the city limits beginning June 30, 2013. That means the county will be in a position to establish its own EMS service outside the corporate limits of Somerset. 
“We’re prepared (to do our own EMS service) if we need to,” said Bullock on Friday, although he noted that he hadn’t yet been able to discuss the issue — including new negotiations with the city — with county magistrates.
Bullock said they’ll most likely discuss the EMS issue during Tuesday’s Pulaski County Fiscal Court meeting. 
Girdler’s letter follows an earlier letter from Bullock, one in which Bullock informed city officials that the county was in the process of securing the $982,907 needed to cover a budget shortfall in the EMS budget, which the city had been covering. Funding for EMS had been established through a 1995 interlocal agreement between the two entities. The county provides around $1.2 million yearly to EMS from occupational tax revenue. As “overseer” of EMS, the city provides additional funding and manages the operations of EMS. The agreement also stated that additional occupational tax funds would need to cover “unanticipated” shortfalls in the EMS budget. 
Girdler in January announced that EMS had finished fiscal year 2012, which ended June 30, 2012, in the red. Now, the county is undergoing the process of securing the bonds to cover the shortfall.
But that still leaves the question of the nature of EMS service. The 1995 agreement was terminated by Somerset City Council in March after fiscal court expressed an initial reluctance to pay the shortfall due to what they said was a lack of documentation. Therefore, new agreements need to be drawn up. 

Text Only
Local News
News Live
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks