UHRICHSVILLE (Tusco) - Council could be deciding next week on the fire department's plan to take over as the city’s EMS provider.
A unanimous vote cast Thursday night changed Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting to a special session, allowing for possible action on the 24/7 all-hazards coverage proposal. It came after a more-than hour-long closed-door session with representatives from the firefighters union and a roll-call vote on the plan that resulted in a 3-2 defeat.
Councilman Ron Miller called the vote on behalf of the finance committee, saying they thought council should come into Monday’s meeting with officials from Dennison and surrounding townships with a decision.
"We feel the city of Uhrichsville should be recommended for providing ambulance service in our area. They’re waiting on us to make our decision. Then, they’ll make their decision."
President Buck Cottrell was in favor of postponing the vote until after they filled the two open council seats, but firefighter Nathan Kraus argued that would only delay what’s already been a nearly year-long process even longer.
"You bring two new council members on, they’re gonna be newer than what Amy and them are. They’ve been here listening to that stuff asking questions. Two new ones aren’t gonna have a bit of clue and you’re just gonna drag that on because that ain’t gonna happen before the next council meeting, so now we’re looking into February or March, and it’s just getting drawn out and drawn out."
Council has been debating whether to sign a new contract with Smith Ambulance or start their own fire-based EMS service. Firefighters have presented two different plans to council, one for Uhrichsville only and the other for the entire region. They’ll find out if any of Uhrichsville’s neighbors are on board during Monday’s meeting.