Commissioners announce major financial investment in Seneca County EMS Thursday
[Tiffin, Ohio – Feb. 10, 2022] – The Seneca County Board of Commissioners unanimously agreed to spend as much as $750,000 to build a new emergency medical services facility on the east side of the county during a board session Thursday morning.
Commissioner Anthony Paradiso made a motion to allocate the funding to put a new EMS building on the east side of the county “somewhere on US 224.” The new building would house paid and volunteer staff from the recently joined Attica-Venice-Reed and Bloom-Scipio joint ambulance districts.
Paradiso said six villages and 10 townships are currently working together to form a single joint ambulance district. Right now, the county contracts with four joint ambulance districts to provide ambulance services to residents in the rural areas of Seneca County (those who are not covered by Tiffin or Fostoria’s EMS agencies).
Under the current agreement, joint ambulance districts are responsible for personnel, while the county funds training, equipment, vehicles, etc.
“I want to send a message to the citizens of Seneca County, that we strongly support the mission of full-time EMS,” Paradiso said, adding that having a 24/7 facility on the east side of the county is a strong first step in the process of moving to four full-time, paid ambulances. “We can use this as a beta site, so we can battle test it. We can condense operations and be more efficient.”
The current system has some paid county personnel who supplement the volunteers who have run the county EMS system since 1978. With the future of volunteerism unclear, county officials hope to have full-time personnel across four stations, who are supplemented by volunteers.
Commissioner Tyler Shuff said he thinks it is important to keep moving forward on the EMS issue.
“We have got to invest in our safety services,” he said.
Commissioner Mike Kerschner said federal American Rescue Plan Act funding is to help in building the new facility. He stressed the importance of using that one-time funding on projects that would not bring on significant recurring expenses.
Kerschner said the goal is to have four similar EMS facilities strategically located across the county, in an effort to provide high-quality, Advanced Life Support care to those who need it in the rural areas of Seneca County in 10 minutes or less.
In related news, Seneca County Emergency Services Director Ken Majors said one of two previously ordered ambulances will be able to go in-service soon. He said he and his team are taking the new 2022 Ford F-450 Four-Wheel Drive Wheeled Coach ambulance to Loudonville on Friday for a final inspection.
The ambulance, which cost about $220,465, was ordered in March of 2020. The long wait time for the vehicle was due to a high demand nationally for ambulances.
The ambulance is likely to be used in Bloomville, and county officials hope it can be ready for use in the county in March.
In other business, County Administrator Stacy Wilson announced that the commissioners are not scheduled to meet next week. She said the following week on Feb. 24 at 10 a.m., the commissioners would hold a regular session and a work session to discuss the county’s capital budget.
Also during the session, Paradiso congratulated local resident Luke Randall for becoming an Eagle Scout. Paradiso plans to attend Randall’s Court of Honor ceremony on Sunday, where he will read a proclamation honoring him.
During new business, the commissioners approved all resolutions and appropriations from the meeting’s agenda.