Fewer ambulance districts in Seneca County proposed

By JIM MAURER
STAFF WRITER
TIFFIN — Ken Majors, director of Seneca County Emergency Medical Service, recommended Tuesday the county reduce the number of ambulance districts but increase the manpower to provide for better coverage.
In a presentation to the Seneca County commissioners, Majors suggested there be four ambulance districts, down from seven, and a nominal hourly payment when personnel are on call.
Majors will make a presentation at a public meeting at 8 a.m. Saturday in the Public Safety Building at the county fairgrounds in Tiffin.
Emergency medical service in the county has been under review because some districts are having difficulty providing sufficient manpower, so at times ambulances are out of service.
Majors said under his proposal, each joint ambulance district would continue to have local control.
The county would continue to provide equipment, supplies, fuel, medical billing and training, while districts would provide personnel.
Funding would be determined by each district.
Squads would have at least basic life support certification and two people would be scheduled each shift, to provide 24-hour coverage.
The county’s additional squad, which responds on an “as needed” basis, would be maintained by the county with the reorganization.
The county budget provides about $500,000 annually for emergency medical service, with another $300,000 provided by billing patients.
The remainder is paid from the county’s general fund and with any grants received by the county.
“Seneca County doesn’t want to be or need to be involved in the funds that each joint district generates,” Majors said. “Those funds go directly to the volunteers in the district.”
Promoting community service with volunteers remains the basis for providing ambulance service, Majors said. “We just want to compensate and maintain (the volunteer base and the service).”
“We want to emphasize we can’t force anyone to create the districts,” Commissioner Jeff Wagner said. “But this isn’t an acceptable way we are going now. We want to let the districts decide how to get volunteers, rather than emphasize the money.”
“Whatever decisions we come to, are better than what we’re doing now,” Majors said.
Maurer: 419-427-8420 Send an E-mail to Jim Maurer

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