Commonwealth Journal

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April 21, 2013

EMS losing life support

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


Somerset —

Girdler states in his letter that he met with EMS employees on Friday, April 12 and informed them that the county would assume responsibility for EMS services in the county in the new fiscal year.
Somerset City Attorney Carrie Wiese confirmed that, and said EMS employees were told their jobs are not in danger.
“We told everybody their positions would be secure no matter what,” said Wiese. “But if they want to go to the county, we’ll support them.”
Wiese said city officials crunched the numbers and determined EMS operations would be able to continue in the city only without any job losses. 
Girdler in his letter offers the city’s assistance in starting up a county EMS service, but he also states that the city is willing to contract with the county to provide EMS service throughout the entire Pulaski County area.
“Again, as we have offered on several meetings, the city will be willing to contract with the Pulaski Fiscal Court for $1.6 million to provide EMS services outside the corporate city limits which is the amount necessary to provide the service without future requests to the fiscal court,” states Girdler. “We assume that you will take the $1.2 million currently allocated after July 1 and operate the county EMS services.”
Bullock said he’ll have a better idea of the county’s position after Tuesday’s meeting, but he emphasized that all citizens, whether they be in the county or city, will be provided EMS services.
“They will be taken care of, whatever we do,” said Bullock. “We’re going to provide the county with EMS service no matter what.”
Bullock had suggested that the city and county form an EMS board in an effort to oversee EMS operations and avoid any disagreements in the future. The 1995 agreement had contained guidelines for an EMS board. 

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