Scipio Township trustees and Republic Village Council members met Sunday evening to discuss the countywide EMS situation.
Trustee Rod Miller reiterated that Seneca County EMS Director Ken Majors would like to see joint ambulance districts developed throughout the county. Majors has said he'd like each EMS district to get a levy on the ballot to provide stipends for volunteers.
Republic/Scipio Township EMS Director Bob Wilson said he has five volunteers for the squad right now and the county expects them to generate a schedule guaranteeing two EMTs for every 24-hour period if a $3.50-an-hour stipend is offered.
He said the squad often is busy answering calls in Green Springs and Attica.
The county has estimated the annual costs of the squads to be about $60,000 but Republic Mayor Bruce Lambert said it would probably be closer to $80,000 after hiring a fiscal officer, conducting an annual audit and other ancillary expenses.
Miller said it feels like commissioners are pushing the issue onto the proposed districts and suggested it
would be easier for the county to pass a levy.
Referring to the draft contract from the county, Lambert expressed concern over the possibility of the Republic/Scipio Township ambulance being removed if they are unable to adequately staff the squad.
Wilson said training is more rigorous now; six months of schooling is necessary and continued education every year is expected to hold certification. Most volunteers are older and young people aren't stepping up, he said.
Village Administrator Crystal Hoepf suggested visiting Seneca East High School to recruit volunteers. EMTs must be 18 years old to volunteer.
Wilson said the department pays for training and asks volunteers to serve the community for two years upon successful certification.
Seneca County is the only Ohio county that does not pay its EMS squads, Wilson said. He said Sandusky County has a $2.4 million budget for its program. He does not believe $3.50 an hour is going to attract many people.
Councilman Mike Oberlander reminded everyone three prior levies in the community have failed and it is highly unlikely this would pass.
Those in attendance wanted more information and plan to schedule a meeting with county commissioners for further discussion.