Exclusives
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+RSS Feed
Fire EMSEMS TodayEMS Insider

Fire, EMS Pact Wouldn't Save Ohio Town Cash

OAKWOOD, Ohio - It would cost Oakwood almost as much to have the city of Kettering provide its fire department and emergency medical services on a contract basis as it does for the city to operate its own department.

That was the outcome of an estimate Kettering submitted Nov. 1 at the request of Oak-wood city officials, who are looking for ways to reduce local government expenses due to a loss of annual revenue that will reach $3 million 2013.
At 40 percent, public safety services represent the largest expense in the city budget.

Costs would be higher in a scenario including a Kettering-supplied fire and EMS, with a stand-alone Oakwood Police Department. The city presently has a combined police, fire and EMS force whose members are cross-trained in all areas.

In a memo, Kettering city manager Mark Schwieterman said the "preliminary draft" was intended for use "in making a decision on whether or not to continue discussions on what it would cost to provide a full-service fire and EMS-based delivery system to meet Oak-wood's needs."

Most of Oakwood's $3 million shortfall will stem from the discontinuance of the Ohio estate tax. But further losses may be coming.

Mayor Bill Duncan said "the $3 million problem" could balloon to $3.5 million as the result of a bill recently introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives to create uniformity in how more than 600 communities in the state charge and collect income tax.

"We think it would cost Oak-wood between $400,000 and $500,000 a year more," Dun-can said.

Oakwood City Manager Norbert Klopsch, who said Kettering would utilize Oakwood's current fire and EMS facility on Park Avenue under the proposal, said the estimate "shows that their costs are no different than ours. There would be downsides. We would lose some of our current advantages of personnel cross training, and it would be hard to match our current response time of under two minutes for any emergency in Oakwood."

Duncan said while the cost "is too expensive now, that may not be the case four to five years from now. Shared services will never be off the table."

"We've been told repeatedly that we need to look at everything. This wouldn't save us any money," said Vice Mayor Steven Byington, who recently attended an Alternative Revenue Summit for city leaders across the state.

"What I took away from that is there's the belief from the state administration that all we need to do is think outside the box and be more creative in finding ways to reduce costs or work harder. But the only new ideas are small ones that many of us have already tried. Nobody has defined a $2 million effort, or even a $1 million one," Byington said.

Council member Rob Stephens said the idea of shared city services came up repeatedly during neighborhood meetings "as the big-ticket item we needed to consider. We pledged to look into it."

Finance director Cindy Stafford and city officials are formulating the 2013 budget, which will be presented at the Dec. 10 Oak-wood City Council meeting.
Contact this reporter at 937-225-2377 or email Terry.Morris@coxinc.com

RELATED ARTICLES

Understanding Why EMS Systems Fail

Learn to recognize trigger points that could ruin your system.

West River Ambulance Receives New Rig

West River Ambulance in Hettinger, ND recently received a much-needed upgrade from their 1992 rig. A 2014 Ford/AEV Type III Custom Conversion rig with a 6.8 ...

Unlikely Pairing Leads to Health Care Education Wins

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Nursing and Harris County Emergency Corps (HCEC) have formed an unlikely pairin...

Know When and How Your Patient Can Legally Refuse Care

Refusal of care straddles the intersection of ethical, legal and scientific domains of prehospital practice.

Reflecting on 35 Years of Innovation in JEMS

Take a walk through the last 35 years of EMS in JEMS.

Readers Sound Off About Glove Use After Patient Care

How often are you susceptible to potentially unclean surfaces?

Features by Topic

JEMS Connect

CURRENT DISCUSSIONS

 
 

EMS BLOGS

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

Featured Careers