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New EMS response plan in process

County emergency medical services officials have tentatively hammered out changes to the county’s response plan aimed at reducing the number of dropped calls.

The county’s EMS agencies implemented a response plan several years ago but the plan was largely ignored and the situation has continued to deteriorate. About one in every three EMS calls in Warren County between March 1 and the end of October went unanswered by the home agency dispatched by the 911 Center.

Paul Pascuzzi, chair of the COG Fire Services Committee, told the Council of Governments this week that the providers have met and are working on a plan that would be approved by the agencies and then sent to the state for consideration.

“They’re very close to finishing up that plan,” he said, explaining that it is similar to a plan instituted in Erie County.

Public Safety Director Ken McCorrison said the revised plan would be an improvement “if the agencies commit to the contents of the plan.”

He said it would give the 911 Center a better sense for who is available and who is unavailable at a given time.

He said Erie County has hired a plan administrator and that Warren and Crawford are potentially joining in that effort.

McCorrison told the COG that Erie approached Warren about joining with the shared administrator.

“Warren County has a very small share of money into this administrator,” he said. “This person’s whole purpose is to try to help with scheduling… to make their response more consistent.”

Commissioner Ben Kafferlin said during Thursday’s COG Fire Services Committee meeting that the funding for the county’s portion of that position has not yet been approved but is “very likely to be approved.”

Pascuzzi said the chiefs of the agencies met for two, three hour meetings, to work out the plan.

“We definitely had the consensus,” Tim Johnson with the Pleasant VFD explained. “Everybody’s on board to go through it and get it done.”

He said he’s looking for a yay or nay from the departments by Dec. 15.

“All of the agencies that were there were supportive of the changes,” Todd Steele, EmergyCare’s director of operations said, noting that they needed to go back to their organizations to confirm.

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