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City council debates role in EMS crisis

A proposal to expand an emergency medical services arrangement between the City of Warren and Pleasant Township was tabled Monday night by Warren City Council.

But that agreement was just the vehicle for a much larger and contentious debate about the city’s role in the county EMS crisis.

At last month’s council meeting, council agreed to an arrangement that would place two City of Warren EMTs at the Pleasant VFD to respond to calls in Pleasant on Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the day. It’s a pilot agreement for data-gathering purposes through the end of the year.

“It is working so well that Pleasant asked the city to staff two additional days – Tuesday and Thursday,” City Manager Nancy Freenock said.

“I see it as a real win-win situation for the citizens of Warren,” Mayor Maurice Cashman said, indicating that if additional townships sought a similar arrangement they would have to pay for it. “(We are) not going to take resources away from the City of Warren.”

Councilman John Wortman said the city’s system “as it has been constructed for decades is under assault.”

He said the agreement “decreased the number of resources we possess within our jurisdiction.”

A public hearing will be held before next month’s council meeting to hear feedback on the issue.

See Wednesday’s Times Observer for a full story.

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