Attica, AVR talk EMS staffing

The idea of combining Attica-Venice-Reed Fire District and Attica EMS was passed around at an informational meeting Wednesday evening.

AVR Fire District Chief Brett Meyers said Attica EMS, much like the rest of the EMS districts in the county, has been hard-pressed for volunteers.

“Volunteerism is becoming almost a thing of the past,” he said.

Wednesday evening’s meeting came after a recent special Seneca County commissioners meeting in which Seneca County EMS Director Ken Majors urged townships and villages to find a solution to the staffing issue.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Attica and Venice and Reed township officials said more volunteers likely would be generated by combining the fire district and EMS, and paying EMTs a nominal fee.

Attica EMS has 10 EMTs.

“Right now, we’re very short-handed,” said assistant Attica EMS Coordinator Dennis Hanlon. “Fire departments usually have more manpower than EMS, but when it comes to EMTs, it’s very slim.”

The nominal pay to have two EMTs on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week could be generated through a levy, Seneca County Prosecutor Derek DeVine said.

A fee of $3 an hour was discussed as a possibility.

Forming a district that would include the village and two townships would lower the tax responsibility for each household, officials said Wednesday.

Meyers said under that system, the county still would provide equipment for EMTs, including the ambulance, supplies and medication.

DeVine said the levy could go on November’s ballot and even if it does not pass, it’s possible for the village and townships to throw in money to pay EMTs.

A meeting to discuss the levy in more detail is scheduled for June 11.