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City council approves expanded EMS pilot

Warren City Council has voted to approve a pilot agreement with Pleasant Township that would expand an emergency medical services pilot agreement into the township.

Currently, the pilot, which runs through the end of the year, stations city fire staff at Pleasant to respond to EMS and fire calls in Pleasant three days a week from 7:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. The township reimburses the city for the cost of those personnel.

An attempt to extend it to five days was tabled last month but passed in a 5-2 vote during council’s Monday meeting.

“We are getting money for services we have to render that we were not getting money for before,” Councilman Gregory Fraser said. “That is in service of our taxpayers.”

Councilman John Wortman has fiercely opposed the agreement, calling for a public hearing which was held last week.

Wortman said the agreement increases the territory the city ambulance will cover by 27 percent as well as the area by 1,133 percent.

“How can we justify passing this without adding additional personnel?” Wortman said. “Or are we that overstaffed that this is functional.

“The seven of us have an obligation to make sure Warren’s residents are kept safe.”

“You overlook the fact that we’re obligated to go and be outside of the city,” Mayor Maurice Cashman pointed out.

Since the beginning of 2018, the city ambulance service has responded outside the city over 800 times.

Cashman said the agreement brings “more equipment, better access, fuller coverage.

“I find it to be a win-win situation,” Cashman said, “especially under the current law that requires us to go anywhere.”

See Wednesday’s edition of the Times Observer for additional coverage.

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