Seneca County hopes to join EMS districts - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Seneca County hopes to join EMS districts

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SENECA COUNTY, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Leaders in Seneca County want to change the way emergency medical services are run. They say as the number of emergency calls goes up, the number of volunteers goes down.

"Trying to run a 24/7 program on an all-volunteer basis is just becoming more and more difficult," explained Fred Zoeller, Seneca County commissioner.

You cannot run ambulances without personnel, and getting trained workers willing to work for free is getting tough in Seneca County.

"Let's face it, since 1978, the level of volunteerism and the level of free time that individuals have, it's not there!" said Zoeller.

Commissioner Zoeller and other county leaders say the way their system is run has not changed since 1978. Since then, the volume of emergency calls has risen. They hope to model a new system after the village of Bascomb, Hopewell and Loudon townships, which were able to bring in 30 volunteers.

"The other districts...We're lucky if we can maintain six," said Zoeller.

Under the new system, there would be multiple joint ambulance districts, keeping emergency crews close to their hometowns.

"They know their area better than having someone 30 miles on the other side of the county trying to find some county road or township road that not everyone knows about," said Zoeller.

Volunteers would also be partially paid, making $3.50 per hour while on-call.

Individual townships will have to vote and agree on a new plan before any changes take effect.

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