Township gets closer to being able to offer EMS transport to residents

The Vermilion Township trustees met for a regular meeting Wednesday, March 21. The following is from the minutes of that meeting.

From the audience: Tim Riesterer, Margaretta Township was in attendance to catch up on local issues and will be running for Erie County Commissioner.  Mr. Young asked what plans he has for the future.  Mr. Riesterer stated the lakes are our biggest assets other than our children and families.  He would like to see some more expansion of the sewer systems, so the lake is not being polluted and explore the issues with the water systems.

Fire department update: Assistant Chief Kurtz reported that the between March 1 and March 20, the department responded to one general alarm, 19 EMS assists, one report of gas odor, three accidents, and one structure fire.

The squad that was purchased is at Norwalk Truck Service and the Chief authorized repairs to be made.  Repairs are as follows: Four (4) Batteries; Oil Pressure Sensor; Wiper Blades; Mode Door Control; Hose Connectors Coolant Restrictors (2); and Power Seal Clamps (4).  The total cost of repairs will be $2,608.72, which were approved by the trustees later in the meeting.  At this time, the Chief asked for approval from the Board to complete all items listed.  Brake line areas showing rust at this time; however, this was not quoted as they were unsure of size for the quote.

ABCO Fire was on station this past week and completed annual inspection of all building and apparatus fire extinguishers. Finally, Daisy Girl Scout Troop #50968 will be on station this evening at 6:00 p.m. for a station tour.  The Scouts are working on their Badge of Courage.

EMS transport: Kurtz, on behalf of Chief Triana, asked for an approval to move forward with doing transport for EMS as was discussed throughout the year.  It will take a good six to nine months to fully implement these services which includes a billing company.  Kurtz discussed soft billing and how this would save township residents out of pocket expenses.  Township residents would not be charged anything above what the insurance company pays.  Out-of-town residents would be charged full rate.  Currently with North Central, township residents are paying the full rate unless they are part of North Central’s program ($50.00 per year).  Kurtz discussed various charges, mileage, expenses, insurance, equipment and more.

Various questions were asked and discussed regarding how many additional staff would need to be added, payroll, maintenance, equipment, hours-shifts, training costs, additional expenses, insurance and advantages.  Kurtz explained that there would be two part-time employees, but would have a list of however many they can sign up.  There is no limit on part-timers since you’re only paying them when they are working so you’re paying for shifts to be covered.  Trustee Trinter added that staffing doesn’t seem to be a problem.

Trustee Decker asked how this would be cost effective and what would the advantages be versus what we are doing now for the township.  Kurtz stated the benefits include improved service, quicker responses, a savings of $15,000.00 paid to City, and billing which he explained.  Kurtz addressed questions and stated the main reason they want to move forward with EMS transport is to improve service for the township residents and save lives.  It’s not about making money but covering costs.  He stated there would be additional costs the first year, but the entire goal of the program is that it will remain self-sufficient and the money collected through insurance will cover the costs so there is no drain on the department.

Trustee Dickel stated the residents passed the fire levy and it’s a way for the township to give back to residents.  It will help residents with their costs which could run up to $1,000.00 for one trip.  After further discussion, Trustee Decker asked to table this until the next meeting before a decision is made, which they approved to get further cost research and estimates.. Kurtz asked them to forward any questions they may have to him, so he can make sure to get answers before the next meeting.

Motions passed: Before closing the meeting, the trustees also voted to establish permanent appropriations for 2018, which will be in effect April 1, 2018, to provide for current expenses and other expenditures during the fiscal year ending December 31, 2018, send a letter of support to the state legislature for House Bill 500 on behalf of the Erie County Township Association, and hire temporary summer help for the Road Department and place an ad in the local newspaper, Vermilion Photojournal.

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