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Coshocton EMS urges voters to vote for renewal levy

| October 26, 2012

COSHOCTON – The Coshocton County EMS has seen a steady increase of calls from county residents over the past several years, and with that increase came the need for a fifth crew. With 6,200 calls coming in last year, and expecting 6,500 calls this year, the Coshocton County EMS is asking voters to vote for a 2 mil renewal levy with a 1 mil increase for operation and maintenance. The levy would cost a homeowner of a $100,000 home $91.06 a year, which is an increase of less than $30.00 a year from the current 2 mil Levy.

“We can’t afford to continue 5 crews on 2 mils,” said Todd Shroyer, assistant director of Coshocton County EMS. “Bernie and I saved up enough money to fund a fifth crew for one year to see if it would work before we asked tax payers for money.”

The result of adding a fifth crew saved county residents from having to wait on assistance. With most of their requests originating in the City of Coshocton, often, both Coshocton ambulances were on call at the same time. When a call would come in from Warsaw or West Lafayette, EMS employees at the Warsaw or West Lafayette stations would often be tied up for more than an hour, and with  both Coshocton ambulances out in the city, other county residents in need of help were left waiting for assistance. With the addition of the fifth crew, that crew is available to back up the City of Coshocton or respond to the Warsaw or West Lafayette stations in the event those stations get a call and have to leave. The whole idea amounts to keeping all 3 EMS stations staffed more efficiently to reduce response times.

“With pushing 6,500 calls, it’s essential that we run five ambulances so we don’t delay any response times for residents,” said Bernie Minet, director of Coshocton County EMS.

On average, it costs Coshocton County EMS $400,000 to pay for one crew for one year. To staff a 2 person ambulance crew 24 hours per day, seven days per week for a year requires 17,472 labor hours, or roughly the equivalent of 9 people working a 40 hour week.

To save money to pay for the additional crew, Coshocton County EMS purchased four used ambulances for a total of $70,000 over the past 2 years instead of buying all new ambulances. New ambulances would have cost almost $500,000. Buying used saved at least $400,000. Three of these ambulances were from small volunteer departments in New Jersey. These trucks have a very reliable 7.3 liter diesel engine and only had between 24,000 and 60,000 miles on them when we purchased them.

“Every truck we get goes to the local Ford dealer for a thorough inspection,” said Shroyer.

Staff at the Coshocton County EMS has been going door-to-door campaigning for their levy and has received mostly positive feedback.

“We would like everybody to know we have always and always will remain active in the community with public relation events like football games, festivals, and fairground event,” said Minet. “We also assist at many public health screenings around the County and we try to participate in manyactivities that we are asked throughout the year. We also offer free blood pressure checks at all three of our stations.”

Minet said that many residents in the community come in almost every day just to be evaluated by the EMS staff, at no charge to them. There is also no out-of-pocket charge for residents who call EMS for assistance. EMS charges their insurance company and whatever portion the insurance pays; EMS considers this amount paid in full. We consider that to be a thank you to the residents of Coshocton County for supporting an EMS Levy. We don’t believe in making people pay twice for one service. Non-residents of Coshocton County are held responsible for the full ambulance charge.

“We just hope the community supports us with this levy because we’re always out there and available 24 hours a day,” said Minet. “

Shroyer said that EMS does a lot of service calls and more than 400 times last year, they responded to in-home requests.

“There are a lot of requests that ambulance crews do each day that does not get charged to insurances, such as wellbeing checks and uninjured fall assists.  We provide a medical public service and we don’t always have to come racing in lights and sirens blaring to bring some help to someone,” said Minet. “We provide that service to any resident in Coshocton County.”

For more information on the EMS levy, visit their Facebook page at Friends of Coshocton County EMS or call 622-4294.

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About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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