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NB’s emergency medical service future debated

By ERIC SCHAADT
Staff Writer
NORTH BALTIMORE — The future of the North Baltimore Emergency Medical Service was front and center before Village Council on Tuesday, and current emergency medical technicians asked council to consider the strides already made in improving the service.
No decision was reached Tuesday, but a ballot issue could be presented to village voters in May to decide the future of the service.
In recent years, council and emergency medical service officials have been dealing with billing issues, the ability to cover emergency runs with volunteer EMTs, and concerns about response times.
About six EMTs told council Tuesday that time should be given to allow changes in the service to take effect, and questioned the need to privatize the service.
“We’ve got a very rich history here,” one technician said. “I think we’re on the right track.”
During Tuesday’s meeting, representatives from LifeStar in Wood County and Hanco Ambulance in Findlay made presentations to council, each offering to bring their service to North Baltimore.
Village officials said Tuesday’s session was a “fact-finding” mission, and public meetings will be held to discuss the issue further.
The lack of volunteers for the emergency service has been an issue.
“Citizens’ safety, at times, could be at risk,” Councilman Aaron Patterson said. “We have to do something.”
One option is to hire full-time EMTs to staff the service.
Separately Tuesday, Mayor Mike Julien pointed to the anticipated completion of the north side sewer separation project during his annual state-of-the-village address.
The work is slated to be completed in late May. Some streets that still need attention from the already completed south side sewer line work could be resurfaced.
The two-part project, started in 2002 to comply with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency regulations, will be completed three years ahead of schedule, the mayor told council.
The north side project cost about $6 million while the south side project cost about $7 million.
Other improvements in North Baltimore last year included upgrading the emergency radio system.
Separately, council praised the efforts of village crews clearing snow.
Schaadt: 419-427-8414
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