CAMPBELL, Ohio (WKBN) — Employees with ambulance services provider MedStar say they’re experiencing paycheck problems once again, and the community is feeling the impacts as well.
Brooke Moisio dispatches for the private ambulance company. She says she received a paper check Friday. When she went to cash it at the bank it came from, she was told there were insufficient funds.
“Very frustrating, because it was my sole income and I live on my own — so that is where I was getting all of my money,” Mosio said.
Paramedic Daniel Bell says his check hasn’t cleared yet.
“In this economy, it’s bad enough as it is,” Bell said. “When you’re relying on a check, you put in your hours, you got bills to pay and mouths to feed — next thing you know, you ain’t got no money.”
“Nobody wants to go to work because nobody is getting paid,” Moisio said.
For both Moisio and Bell, it’s a feeling of deja vu. They worked for the company in July, when other employees spoke out when their pay was delayed for the third time.
“A year later and you’re starting out all over again,” Bell said. “You have to ask yourself, ‘Do you want to go through a whole other summer of this?’ Because you’re still digging yourself out financially from last time.”
MedStar CEO Troy Hass told First News he has very little to do with the company now. He referred us to Patrick O’Neil, from whom we are awaiting comment.
“I’m not accusing anybody of anything illegal, but you have to ask yourself if you’re bringing in the money, where is it going? Because it ain’t going to the paychecks — and that’s a pretty big priority if you’re running a company.”
But MedStar employees aren’t the only ones feeling the effects. The community, too, has been impacted.
On Saturday, officials with the city of Campbell are asking people to hold off on calling for ambulances unless absolutely necessary.
According to a press release from public safety manager Michael Romeo Jr., city officials learned from its 911 center Saturday morning that the contracted ambulance provider, MedStar, is not currently staffing or providing services to the city.
“We are asking that our citizens only request ambulance transport when it is absolutely necessary,” the release from Romeo said.
The city is looking for an alternate ambulance service provider to cover calls. For the time being, the fire department will respond to medical calls.
Both the mayors of Campbell and Struthers confirm they are working on resolutions to the apparent loss of service over the weekend.
Campbell Mayor Brian Tedesco says he is reaching out to MedStar’s CEO and supervisor to get some answers. Struthers Mayor Catherine Miller says she is working with both EMT and Lane ambulance services and will rely on their fire department ambulance as a backup.
Miller says her fire chief was assured MedStar would have an ambulance to answer calls on Monday — but that it will continue to vary day-to-day — and that they will be calling Lane and EMT if MedStar can’t answer.