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No Need For Argument Over EMS Contracts



There seems to be a clash of personalities between one Fulton County commissioner, the Village of Archbold, and the Archbold Fire Department over ALS-1, the Archbold paramedic unit.

The sometimes-heated debate is about the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) contracts with the county fire departments, and specifically, the way Archbold runs ALS-1.

The quarrel has been going on for weeks. Some reports say the “negotiations” between the two sides have become heated, with raised voices and angry words.

Kiss common sense and reason good-bye.

The argument seems to be mostly about response times– how long it takes ALS-1 to get rolling.

Dean Genter, Fulton County commissioner, says from 5 pm to 8 am, it takes ALS-1 too long, because Archbold allows the emergency medical technician, half of the two-man crew, to sleep at home while the paramedic stays at the fire station. If the EMT lives too far away, he must stay at the station.

Research conducted by Archbold officials shows it does take Archbold longer– on average, 30 seconds to a minute– when compared to other county departments.

During those hours, all Fulton County paramedic unit response times are slower.

Archbold officials can make persuasive arguments for allowing an EMT to remain at home, on call, during the overnight hours. Among the reasons: an $80,000 per year savings.

What must not be overlooked is this fact: ALS-1 is a top rescue squad, and the on-call system is working. To quote the old saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Requiring both members to remain on station might improve the response time of ALS-1 slightly– is that worth $80,000 a year?

Should an outside consultant evaluate ALS-1 and the county EMS system? Is anyone really anxious to spend $10,000 to $20,000 for that service, when the commissioners are already raiding EMS money to shore up the general fund?

Genter is but one commissioner. The other two, Paul Barnaby and Perry Rupp, have already expressed a desire to approve the EMS contracts, allowing Archbold to keep the on-call system.

Rupp and Barnaby should overrule Genter. Fulton County will have its EMS contracts, and Archbold can keep its on-call system.

Isn’t that the best, and cheapest, solution?



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