BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Boardman Township trustees heard various proposals Tuesday night about adding ambulance services to the township, which would be provided by the township itself.
The issue is how to pay for it. When asked if an additional tax levy would be necessary, we were told nothing has been decided yet.
Boardman firefighters were among those who showed up for the special trustees meeting, curious to hear about the possibility of the township creating its own ambulance service.
“As call volume continues to increase in Boardman Township, response times of private ambulance services have also increased,” said Daniel Segool, with the EMS Committee.
Fire Chief Mark Pitzer said when an ambulance is called to a scene, it could be coming from either inside or outside of Boardman.
Currently, Boardman fire crews respond 50% faster than a private, contracted ambulance company.
“Our fire department runs over 5,000 calls a year,” Pitzer said. “We’re on trend to break 5,000 runs this year. Look at how many EMS calls we have in Boardman Township today. It’s about 3,800 calls.”
Currently, in all emergency situations, both the Boardman Fire and an EMS crew arrive on a scene. Keeping that model is an option.
“This is the easiest option from a financial perspective in that it would not cause any financial impact,” Segool said.
The EMS Committee reported call volume and response times are rising and will likely continue to rise, so it presented three options.
One is to put an ambulance at the main fire station on Market Street.
“Given the call volume experienced in our community — which are 12 a day, on average — we don’t believe this option would lead to significant improvement,” Segool said.
The second option is to put one ambulance at the main fire station and a second ambulance at a different station.
“We believe that this option would lead to some improvements in services, but there will still be need,” Segool said.
The third option would have fully staffed ambulances at all three stations.
“In this option, the township would be able to service the great majority of EMS calls,” Segool said.
The EMS Committee recommended option three — putting ambulances in every station — but the proposal also reads:
“We acknowledge that this model will require funding above and beyond the expected revenues generated by billings.”
The committee report did not say where the extra funding would come from.