EMS update tops Bloomville meeting

BLOOMVILLE – Discussion of the Bloom Township EMS program topped the agenda at Bloomville’s council meeting Wednesday night.

Fire Chief Nate Blaser said stipends for EMTs and pay structure has been discussed. He said a levy could be sought and passed, but he would prefer to hear the community’s opinion first.

Bloom Township EMS Coordinator Marty Chambers said they want to be proactive and try to keep the squad in Bloomville. Currently, the wait time for aid is about five minutes.

Bloom Township has a mutual aid agreement with the Scipio Township/Republic and AVR Joint District squads. When a call for help comes in, if only one EMT is available, the ambulance responds to the call but requests assistance from another squad in case transporting is necessary.

They, like other squads, are having a shortage of help during the day shift. Another situation is young people working two jobs who don’t have time to volunteer, reducing the pool to draw from.

Chambers said the training process is much more involved than when he started, and costs have increased. The districts pay for volunteer training and the county reimburses them when a candidate has graduated and received their state tested certification. Bloom Township requests new recruits give two years of service in return. The squad consists of 14 active EMTs, with some being paramedics.

Blaser said it is a rewarding career. Bloom Township Trustee Ron Lease said the EMTs do a good job and they are glad to have them.

Blaser gave council members the draft EMS agreement between county commissioners and trustees. He said the local district is looking to create an EMS leadership team that would meet monthly to discuss retaining and recruiting volunteers. He also would like to set up a public meeting.

Mayor Steve George reported several young people enquired about repairing the skateboard area. Council members felt there should be adult oversight and a release from parents before the start of the project. Councilman Bill Oliver questioned the village’s liability, and Solicitor Tim Hoover said the village is immune from being held liable.

In other matters, council:

Heard the Beeghly Park swimming pool opens June 2.

Announced community garage sales June 6 and 7. Residents participating must register at the village office.

Heard the first reading of the resolution to employ Christal McCoy, Renee Bernal and Julia Sherwood as pool managers, establishing the pool rates and setting hourly rates for the lifeguards/cage workers.

Heard the first reading of a resolution requesting the county auditor prepare a certificate of estimated property tax revenue for the renewal 1.5-mill levy to be placed on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Heard the exterior sensor had been replaced on the front door at the municipal building .

Council is to meet at 7 p.m. May 21.