Commissioners review 2021 Seneca County EMS annual report Thursday
[Tiffin, OH – Jan. 27, 2022] – The Seneca County Board of Commissioners reviewed the 2021 Seneca County EMS annual report Thursday morning as presented by Seneca County Emergency Services Director Ken Majors.
Majors provided several statistics and data points from 2021. He said SCEMS responded to 1,502 calls last year.
“This was a very busy year for run volume,” Majors said.
Out of these runs, 880 patients were taken to hospitals. This includes 14 who were taken via helicopter. The majority of transports were to Mercy – Tiffin Hospital (586) with Fostoria City Hospital (122) and Mercy – Willard Hospital (85) rounding out the top three.
Out of the 1,502 calls for service, 314 patients refused care or did not need care, 62 were treated and released and 23 were dead on arrival.
Also during the report, Majors talked about the fleet of vehicles. The oldest current front-line ambulance is 14 years old, and it will be replaced later this year. In total, two ambulances, one special response Echo Unit vehicle and an EMA vehicle have been purchased and should be delivered this year, with the first ambulance expected to be available in February.
Majors said the average response time in 2021 was 11 minutes and 45 seconds from the time of dispatch to the time of an ambulance on the scene. Full-time staff, which were hired last year to help volunteer personnel stay in-service, had an average response time of less than 9 minutes.
Majors said the goal of SCEMS is to respond to calls in 10 minutes or less, but there were some problems with personnel last year due to the dwindling number of volunteers available.
Commissioner Anthony Paradiso said ongoing monthly meetings with township, village and joint ambulance district leaders continue as officials discuss the future of EMS in Seneca County. Recognizing that the volunteer-based system is not sustainable in the long term, a group of 10 townships and six villages are working together to create a single joint ambulance district. This district would then raise funds and contract with the county to run a four-ambulance, full-time Advanced Life Support system. ALS care means having a crew with at least one highly-trained paramedic who can provide life-saving treatments in the field.
The current system is primarily volunteer-based with support from some paid county personnel. In the future, officials hope a full-time paid system can be supplemented by volunteers.
Paradiso applauded the group of townships and villages moving forward in partnership with the county. He announced that the group decided during last Thursday’s EMS stakeholders meeting to name itself the “Seneca County Joint Ambulance District.”
Paradiso said Thursday that the location of these stations and ambulances is less important than how fast they can get anywhere in the county.
“We need four strategically placed facilities so that when the call comes in, we can get anywhere in 10 minutes,” he said.
Paradiso said once the single joint ambulance district is formed, by this summer, the group will determine the details of a potential levy campaign to help fund the system. The new district would take a potential tax levy to voters who live within the 10 townships and 6 villages to see if constituents would like to invest in the future of the system.
Commissioner Tyler Shuff applauded the work of local officials in trying to create a sustainable EMS system.
“The commissioners’ office has invested a lot of time and a lot of effort into this … as elected officials, our top priority is public safety and safety services,” he said.
You can view the 2021 SCEMS annual report here.
In other business, Tyler Shuff congratulated local non-profit group A Splash of Love from Home, for finding a new space to accommodate its growing needs.
The group was formed in 2019 as a way to do something for American soldiers deployed in countries across the world. The group uses volunteers and donations to send care packages and messages of encouragement to troops overseas.
In April, the group’s founder Carrie Duncan joined the commissioners’ meeting to discuss the group and its needs. This week, Duncan announced that Bascom United Methodist Church has offered a room big enough for the organization.
In new business, the board approved all resolutions and appropriations from the pre-meeting release.