Commonwealth Journal

Local News

April 1, 2013

Bullock: County will pay for EMS shortfall


Somerset —

When the city terminated the 1995 agreement, it left several options on the table: That the entities agree to sit down and work out a new inter-local agreement that would ensure EMS services were available to all parts of the county, or that the county would contract through the city’s EMS service (the city voted to obtain its licenses and certificate of need to continue operations). The county could have chosen to set up its own EMS service for county residents, although it would take some time to obtain the necessary certifications. 
Somerset City Attorney Carrie Wiese had stated that the city was hoping a new occupational tax structure could be established that would allow the city to claim a bigger chunk of its share in order to cover the EMS operations completely.
The occupational tax issue is not mentioned in Bullock’s letter. 
“ ... Fiscal Court and I are extremely happy with the services provided by Somerset-Pulaski County EMS and we want the staff there to know how much we appreciate their professionalism, skill level, and the kindness they exhibit as they serve all of our citizens,” Bullock states in closing his letter.
Bullock also states that, should the terms contained in the letter be unacceptable to the city, then the county “ ... will be fully prepared to assume transfer of full responsibility of Somerset-Pulaski County EMS on July 1, 2013, including both administrative and operational duties.
“We remain determined and dedicated to providing emergency services to every citizen of Pulaski County, which includes all municipalities therein and will work closely with the city to ensure a smooth transition for both citizens and personnel,” Bullock finishes.
The letter was copied for all county magistrates, all city councilors, members of the media, and Somerset-Pulaski County EMS. 
Wiese said on Monday afternoon that Girdler was out of town and had yet to review the letter in detail. She said the city plans to review the document as soon as possible and she declined comment until then. 

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