Commonwealth Journal

Local News

February 5, 2013

County, city come to terms on EMS flap


Somerset —

The details of how future costs will be addressed will be released following review by the city council, according to the mayor.
“There is a plan to move us forward that’s been generally agreed to at our meeting (with the county) which I’m very comfortable with, but whether or not the county’s going to accept it (remains to be determined),” said Girdler. “I assume they did at the committee meeting, but of course, all this has to go back to the fiscal court and the city council.”
Girdler said that part of the discussions between the municipalities held last week with the fiscal court, city council, and county and city attorneys, was “the level of service” which they wanted to provide EMS services. That included the advanced life support, or paramedic program, rather than using basic EMT personnel and not paramedics.
“Everybody agreed they wanted the advanced life support system, because of the number of elderly out in the county and the number of runs we have,” said Girdler.
The mayor also said that the county asked if they were interested in alternative solutions, including taking over responsibility for EMS from the city. 
“We did offer to the county, ‘If it’s something you all feel that you want to do, you’re more than welcome to operate EMS. We have a great paramedic program, haven’t had a deficiency in eight years; it’s one of the top-ranked EMS services in the country,’” said Girdler. “... We’d work with them any way possible to accommodate that transfer. We’d do it sooner, later, in 30 days, 60 days, whatever they wanted.”
Girdler said that the county’s “consensus was that they’d prefer the city to operate” EMS services, however.
And if the other points regarding occupational tax reorganization fall through, “then in all probability, the city will not be operating EMS,” said Girdler. “We just can’t legally do that.”

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