Before answers on improving EMS response, first the questions

Plans are moving forward in evaluating Warren County’s EMS services.

A meeting of the Council of Governments (COG) Fire Services Subcommittee was held this week to discuss the next steps in the process.

Jerome Ozog, of Jerome Ozog Enterprises, LLC, who was invited to speak back in June and comprise a plan to evaluate the county’s services, is modifying survey questions for emergency response.

The questions have not yet been sent out for answering and the system of how they will be dispersed was under discussion in Thursday’s meeting.

“Pick a core group and have them chair and pick people to represent (the different agencies),” said Ben Kafferlin, Warren County Commissioner.

“We need youth, some people that aren’t set in their own swimming lanes,” said Paul Pascuzzi, of Clarendon Borough and Chairman for COG Fire Services Subcommittee.

The next step in the process will be finding funding for the project.

The state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) was contacted to inquire what kind of funding would be available for Warren County and the technical assistance program was discovered.

It’s a simple application with a letter of intent and the county does not need to match the funding dollars, unlike other assistance programs.

It’s “low risk” and is not costing the county anything at this point.

The letter of intent was officially signed. Kafferlin will also serve as the contact person for the project.

The committee is estimating to hear back from the state within a few weeks.

Upon approval for technical assistance, a technical advisor will work with the county asking what they are looking for and what actions need to be taken to put the project plan together.

The state would then send someone, possibly from another county, with experience in a well-run EMS services system to help advise the county and carry out the project.

The county is also willing to allocate time and resources to develop an EMS Task Force to assist the COG in developing a solution.

“The goal is to get this to be a community solution. Our intent is to add another layer of support,” said Eggleston.

“The COG doesn’t have the staff to say go work on this, we need someone to dedicate their time to collect this information,” said Pascuzzi.

As a result of recent advancements in the ongoing EMS project, Ozog may not play the role he was originally cast.

“I don’t think that survey money will get what we need, nor do we have the money to pay (Ozog) nor is it the best use of his time,” said Kafferlin. “That’s what the task force would do, give information to (Ozog) to analyze.”

The next steps in the process, after submitting the letter of intent, is to wait to hear from the DCED within the next few weeks.

“I think it’s going to be a good process,” said Pascuzzi.

The next COG Fire Services Subcommittee will be held in October.