Sunday, July 26, 2009

More on the EMS issue: the raw documents

DarkeJournal has been provided with copies of Greenville's EMS Feasibility Study; Feasibility Study Response from Greenville Township Rescue; and a Cost Alternatives Table. Here are links to the documents.


  1. 1st I would like to thank Darke Journal for posting these. I know these are public record but we don't always have time to look them up. Again Thanks. After reading I have a few concerns. 1) The report by the City is seems to be based on alot of more money to be put on the city it self. Might be a tax saving for property owners now, but what about later. See some cost that might cause this to requier needing more money from taxpayers or somebody. Like the statement about soft billing. Amounts might depend on Medicare/Medacade or even the econemy. And the response from EMS that there are people with no insurance, who pays that. I can't see just a soft billing covering the cost it takes. 2) Agree with number 4 is not good. Number 2 would seem like the most practical but can this happen with the current"leadership" in the City and Township we have. 3) Why would you remove 3ml for resuce operations and replace it with a .5 fire levy that doesn't need it. Why wouldn't you just reduce the 3ml levy down to fit the budget the city needs. or Is this a way for the fire department get the levy that failed back 4 or 5 years ago. 4)The response by EMS about call volume seems to make sence on how would the city handle it without a lot of OT. 5) I wonder how the Police department feels about the extra call volume on top of the PD calls that seem to be on the rise. Looks like more manpower on there behalf. 6) And last the 1 statment that caught my attenion which triggered me to respond is the word "Adeqeuate EMS" this is a very poor choice of words by somebody wanting me to support them for the amount of calls EMS is has. My mother is in at Heartland and I would not want a adeqeuate EMS taking care of her nor any member of my family or city residents. I have not heard that the care the current EMS service is providing is poor or costing to much until now. In fact my best friend was removed to the hospital last month and she was talking about how well she was treated and how the guys and gal made her feel relaxed. I think after reading the reports that I will keep supporting the current EMS provided. Like the report stated it has not changed for several years in wanting more moneys and looks as if no need in the future. Sorry for being long winded us older people are like that. Please leave them as they are and EMS keep up the way "More than Adeqeute EMS" service you provide us here in the city. Think maybe my city leaders are the adeqeute ones here with adeqeute running of my tax money. At least the EMS has some green on there books. Thanks and God Bless Mrs. Anonymous.

  2. The choice is to bail out a service that refused to downsize after their duties were greatly reduced, by cannibalizing a service that has responsibly managed resources and provided good service with relatively small tax increases.

  3. No, the choice is to look at what experts have recommended based on budgets and revenues, not EMOTIONS.

  4. Experts?...The USA is how much in debt...Little faith there.

  5. "look at what experts have recommended based on budgets and revenues"

    What "experts" are you referring to? the State Auditor?

  6. I think the Township should take over the city fire. The township already has EMS and Fire. They have the resources and can obviously manage money better.

  7. There seem to be many people reading but not a lot of people understanding. First of all a .5 mill levy is a one half mill levy. That is 1/6 of the amount of money you are now paying for EMS protection with a 3 mil levy. Next thing is yes, it isn't costing the City anything for EMS, it's costing you the taxpayer, right out of your pocket. If you live in the City of Greenville, you live in Greenville Township. The township isn't giving you a free ride, you are paying 3 mils on your real estate tax to thw township. You would no longer pay that. Instead you would pay 1/6 of that .5 mils.
    Drive north, south or east. Piqua, Troy, Sidney, Urbana, Dayton, Centerville, St. Mary's Celina, Wapakoneta all have combined fire and EMS. If it was a bad idea, would they be doing it. On a larger scale, New York City is just finishing the combination of Fire and EMS into one department. Do you think this is a bad idea?
    As for downsizing after their duties were reduced, that's pretty absurd. The Greenville Fire Department was created for one reason. To protect the citizens of the City of Greenville, no more no less. That was in 1871. 74 years later, the farmers outside the city got tired of their buildings burning down and contracted with the City for fire protection. The duties of the GFD didn't diminish any with the loss of the protecting the township, they hardly changed any. Six nursing homes, BASF, Andersons-Marathon Ethanol, plus the rest of the industrial park and your homes and businesses. That is what they were hired to do.
    Whether you "like" the experts who recommend has nothing to do if the recommendation is correct or not. The recommendations ara based on studies and history combined with some good common sense. Good common sense is why we actually had a fire department in 1871. History shows that most of Broadway burned to the ground not once but twice before that time. Good common sense said, Gee, maybe we need a fire department. It has happened since. Keep in mind that brother fire fighters from the past protected most of the same buildings as present day fire fighters protect. For one time in the existence of the City, they have taken the initiative to do what should have been done in the beginning. They are giving you a chance to lower your tax burden by 2.5 mils. That's the bottom line. The comment that the township should take over the city will not be addressed here. I was around when this debacle was initiated over 20 years ago. City Council had the chance to do this then but not enough intelligence to see what was right or wrong. Loaner ambulances were backed into the engine houses to look at fit. All Greenville firefighters have been traine as EMT's since the law was enacted creating EMT's in Ohio, some are already paramedics. This has nothing to do about personallities. As a retired firefighter, over a long period of time there are a number of paramedics who work or have worked for Greenville Towhship who became part of our team on an emergency and it's not about them. It's about common sense. Understand what you are reading!
    Bob Rhoades

  8. Common sense Bob is this. Part time firefighters who still man the station and save the tax payers big bucks. North, West, East and south are doing that. You also failed to mention north, south, east and west also have separate departments too. The Job security is in EMS leave it alone. If anyone needs to downsize or loose jobs its the Fire department. Sometimes you need to drop that brotherly Love for your fellow firefighters and do whats right for the public. The City fire firefighters are all EMT certified with NO EMS EXPERIENCE. Greenville Twp. Rescue has more than enough experience and with there full time roster being all Paramedics. YOU WANT THEM TO LOOSE THERE JOBS. Come on Bob where is the common sense your talking about. It doesnt take that long to become a firefighter so I say lets cross train Greenville Twp. and let them take over. I guarantee they will utilize part time help. The city thinks they can do it cheaper. Of course they can but with what kind of EMS service. They will have to utilize private ambulance companys and find Paramedics willing to get slammed into the ground. There was no thought behind this feasibility study and the only thought was keeping there jobs.

  9. Also, I would ad that the City stated it would be a minimum of a .5 mil levy. How long is it going to stay there???

    We do have great firefighters in the City of Greenville but we also have great EMS service. I believe it does give a sense of security having a paid, full-time department. (taking nothing from our volunteer departments) I don't understand why GFD doesn't operate with part-time and volunteers though. While I don't want anyone to lose their job, it's pretty clear that's really what this is about. When the Twp split the GFD lost a large amount of coverage area but still maintained the same staff. Do you realize GFD has always maintained a full staff??? That is not so with PD or the Sheriff's Office. When you look at use of emergency services in a persons life it almost always goes Law, EMS and then Fire..... Not that they are not all important but common sense here.

    Mr. Rhoades, let's talk about all the cities that operate with volunteers and part-time. Also, just because others are doing things does NOT make them correct for us. Not a lot in Government is done the correct way, you are very well aware of that I'm sure.

    I also do not support the use of the private EMS companies for a public service. This will create all kinds of issues with mutual aid agreements, dispatching and of course BILLING.

    Here's an idea, if you want to save the tax payers of Greenville money let's combine our dispatch centers. Do we really need 2??? With all the new requirements coming up in the next few years, that could save a boat load of money....
    Mr. Schmidt just had a comment in the paper about this and how it's sad governments can't work together. Um, I'm pretty sure both times, the City of Greenville has backed out of the idea.

    All in all, just another round in the City vs. township brawl.

  10. Isn't anonymous blogging fun?

    I reshearched this issue and I think I know what I am talking about. How can a public entity (Greenville Township Rescue) amass an annual carryover about twice their annual budget? Those responsible should have a tea party in their honor.

    How can we trust the same parties when they started their fire department and spent almost twice what they told us they were going to? They told us they would spend $200,000 and spent almost $400,000. And they continue to spend tax money. For example, they replaced the fire truck they bought with a brand new one. Where did that money come from?

  11. In the long run the Township Fire will save big bucks compared to keeping the city fire contract. Greenville Rescue has a carry over because there union believes in job security not high pay. AGAIN. CITY FIREFIGHTERS ARE GETTING A 3.9 PERCENT RAISE ONCE AGAIN. The twp. paramedics top pay is way below the top out wage for a city firefighter. This annual carryover from smart budgeting keeps us from having to ask tax payers for levy after levy. Im sure the JULY 30 810 PM posting was from a city employee. GUESS WHAT YOUR IN THE RED. Ask yourself why. Take a hard look at the departments in the city. It doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure it out.

  12. Hmmm... When did being fiscally responsible become negative????
    We get mad when entities run out of money and cut services or lay off. Now, we complain about having too much of a carryover??? People let's take the emotion out of it and be logical!

  13. Where does most of the townships money come from, the CITY taxpayers. Why shouldn't the city get that money? It was ok when the township started their fire department, now the city is trying to get some of their money back and the township is doing all this badmouthing. Maybe the township is hiding something???

  14. Yes, but the township is not asking the city to pay anything, only the taxpayers. The city was sending the township a bill every year not the tax payers. And that bill got higher and higher to the point where the township would need to ask the taxpayers for more money, and soon. With EMS, and the surplus, the township does not need to ask the taxpayers for any more money any time soon.

  15. The city and twp taxpayes are getting plenty for there tax dollars from EMS. Great service that covers the "CITY" and twp. Money in the black that is being spent only on EMS service that again covers both "CITY" and twp. By law it has to stay with EMS. If the twp itself would start to have money issues, they can't touch the EMS tax money. It's not a general fund. Correct?

  16. Correct. EMS money stays with EMS. The twp. cannot use it to fix roads, buy equipment, etc.

  17. Did anyone happen to notice the area that spoke of the City not being able to change the current levy?

    Also, the committee that did the study included no EMS experts..

    Taxpayers do you know that you are paing $51.96 per resident for EMS and $128.12 per resident for Fire?? Now lets look at call volume GFD had 782 calls in 2008 and Rescue 2,940. Now you would think that EMS having such a higher amount of calls would be costing us more. Ad to that the fact that they handle these calls 15 full-time, 6 part-time and 4 volunteer employees while the City FD has 27 full-time.

    So while the State Auditor may have suggested that the City could save money by combining services but I think it's pretty clear where the savings comes from.

    I am insulted that the City Officials didn't think that their tax payers would take the time and read the reports.

  18. Are you seriosly comparing the cost of running an EMS to the cost of running a fire department? How much does it cost to roll one engine company to a scene, let alone several? And it doesn't take that long to be a firefighter?!?! Last time I checked it took Level I firefighting classes, Level II firefighting classes (both include hazardous materials training), and EMT-B classes. Not to mention the firefighters that are paramedics already. How many paramedics could make it through fire training?

    I'm tired of people knocking the city firefighters like they don't do anything to deserve their paychecks. They potentially risk their lives to keep you people safe EVERY DAY, which includes Thanksgiving, Christmas, middle of the night, etc. They devote their lives to their profession and their families adjust to their absences because of the importance of their jobs.

    Everyone needs to take a deep breath and study the facts, quit slinging mud, and actually compare apples to apples.

    P.S. $128 is not much to pay to protect your property from fire damage.

  19. 240 hours for level 1 AND 2 firefighter training combined with 18 hours of continuing education a year.

    About 15 months for paramedic training with about 33 hours of continuing education every year. That is AFTER the 120 hour EMT-B class you speak of.

    Paramedics work the same as fire fighters (24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year). So yes their families have to adjust as well.

    Only one paramedic in the city fire department not the two mentioned in the feasibility study.

    A large amount of paramedics in the area are already firefighters at some level.

    Paramedics may have to deal with hostile, potentially violent patients not to mention the diseases they encounter.

    Looking at the state cost of health care in this nation I would have to ask what is potentially more expensive.

    Any other questions?

  20. I'm no math expert, so maybe some one could help. What would the dollar loss be in property tax payed and pay check taxes withheld to the city if 16 full time EMS people lost there jobs. Compared to maybe "any 16 city workers going part time or taking a freeze in pay, lose 3hrs of there pay check every 2weeks(which most state employees are doing) or even a cut in pay/benifits to assist the city in its temporary money issues? I heard that Troutwood fire/ems just took cuts to save 9 of there 18 full time employees jobs. And they have 35 part time employees also. Looks like some folks are willing or have no choice but to give a little to save a little. I think this may be the step the city will have to take against there employees if something don't give. Not seeing any giving with fire running EMS.

  21. RE: 7/31 post at 8:34PM

    Did you have a response to your answered questions? You should really do your homework before spouting off that FF train more than EMS. They do not and all first responders are 24/7/365, not just fire. I think if you read what people are say it's not that they are not important or that they don't do a demanding job. The problem lies with the attitude of, I am the most important in the world of public safety. Unfortunetly the numbers do not support the need for as many firefighters as the City employes.

  22. You would think with the crime rate rising in the city as it is that would take more concern now to find away to help support the police with more dollars, not the fire department. I would like to see 7 more policemen, than 7 more firemen/ems workers so my wife and I can once again walk to the park at dusk and feel safe. I'm just glad my kids are all grown up now and we don't have to worry about them playing outside like parents do today. I'm content on how my tax dollars are spent for ems. But surprised on the fire department tax dollars used.

  23. RE: August 1, 2009 11:12 AM

    If you will re-read the post I think you will see that the person agrees with you and is answering the statements of the July 31, 2009 6:28 PM post that makes fire look more than EMS. They are comparing 240 HOURS of training to become a firefighter versus 15 MONTHS to become a Paramedic for example. And they even stated that paramedics work all year round and encounter dangers just like firefighters. Maybe I read it different than you but I saw it as a defense of EMS not a bashing as you seem to have taken it. The way I understand it, both jobs are very demanding in their own way, both in time, training, and strain on personal life so I applaud both professions but think they should be left as they are. Let the fire experts do fire and the EMS experts do EMS.

  24. You are correct. The post was intended for the 6:28 poster not the 8:34. I appologize for that mistake. I would change it but don't think we can edit our posts here. If the Moderator would like to make the change it would be great.

  25. Once a comment is posted, I can only dump it ... I can't change it. Although I think you've cleared things up now.

  26. "Where does most of the townships money come from, the CITY taxpayers."

    Actually it comes from about all property owners in the entire township, including those inside the city.

    "Why shouldn't the city get that money?"

    The city does not pay a dime for EMS services.

  27. "Paramedics may have to deal with hostile, potentially violent patients not to mention the diseases they encounter." ?????

    How many of the parmedics have been injured by the numberous "hostile & violent patients" that they deal with? If you have a known hostile patient don't you usually call the PD to back you up? Isn't the PD called out in ALL cases of reported violence? How can you compare a hostile patient to going into a buring building? That is ridiculous!
    And the diseases? Isn't that why you are supposed to take "universal precautions"? Do you think the PD doesn't have the same or greater chance of encountering someone with a communicable disease? You at least know it's a medical problem & go in prepared with gloves. Do you think officers breaking up a fight have time to say "STOP! I see someone bleeding, I have to go put my gloves on."

    This isn't even about what is best for the citizens of Greenville. It's about retribution against the City Fire Dept.


    You might want to look into things a little bit more before you say something that isn't true. I believe the City Council approved a 3.9 % raise for the ENTIRE city during contract negotiations 2 years ago. And, I believe the City has asked all departments to forgo their raise in the "hopes" that the City won't have to lay anyone off. So do you suggest that they give up their guarranted raise & get laid off in six months or take their raise & get laid off?

    I completely agree with the poster who stated that we need more police officers. How long has the PD been low on officers? Yes, they have been hiring lately but only to fill vacant positions left by employees who retired. Does anyone have any idea how many officers are out taking calls every night? I think you would be surprised how few there are. How can the officers patrol the streets to help stop the crime when they are too busy responding to calls & doing paperwork?

    "Here's an idea, if you want to save the tax payers of Greenville money let's combine our dispatch centers. Do we really need 2??? With all the new requirements coming up in the next few years, that could save a boat load of money.... "????

    Okay, so how much money could they save? Wouldn't the Sheriff's Office charge the City of Greenville to dispatch their officers? How many other departments in the county do they charge for dispatching? None? Hmmm, that sounds fair. And how much would they be charged? Who knows? The SO said it would be free for a couple of years & then they would have to charge an unknown amount but couldn't even beging to guess what that would be. How does that save the city money? And how would that save the County money either because they would have to hire more dispatchers to keep up with the increased amount of calls?

  28. Has anyone brought up "What is best for the patinets?". In a life threatning situation, would you want someone saving your life or your family members life, that is either doing it because they simply want more money for the city.... or because they love what they do? My guess is a firefighter wants to fight fire and a paramedic wants to take care of people. That is why they pick their job preference. It has been said before, but not stressed enough, that these are two VERY different jobs. One is medicine and one is putting fire out. How are the two anywhere the same? Has anyone heard the saying... jack of all trades, master of none? If you combine the two, how will we have good firefighters OR good paramedics. I want BOTH to be good!!!

  29. It seems that the city has only one paramedic, but the proposal states that they have two?
    How much of rest of the proposal is accurate?
    Either this is purposely false or very shoddy work.

  30. Montgomery County FF/EMTAugust 5, 2009 at 6:52 PM

    I am a career firefighter/EMT with a city about 40 min. from Greenville. I grew up in Greenville and I have been keeping up on this issue. First of all I would like to say Paramedics and Firefighers are totally different. I do think EMS and Fire should be separate. I would never bring this up at my station but EMS does not belong there if it belongs anywhere it belongs at a hospital. EMS has become too in depth and there even thinking about making a advanced Paramedic in the future. The personnel at my station cant keep up with the continuing education for both careers because of the increased education EMS is requiring. I find it funny that comments are being made about what career is more dangerous. Stick to the issue. Just for information in my 17 year career I have been injured 6 times in EMS and 1 time in the fire service. I think EMS is more dangerous just because of the run volume alone. Im hoping Greenville finds a way to stay separate. Dont hurt your community.

  31. To August 4, 2009
    6:12 pm

    Every public safety force faces their own unique dangers in their work. To believe that only firefighter, since they go into burning buildings, are the only ones facing danger is myopic at best. To disgard any other threat to EMS or PD as "Ridiculous" is nieve and ignorant.
    To believe that EMTs should never contract a disease because they take "universal precaution" demonstrates that you have no grasp as to what is entailed in working as an EMT. Following your thinking then no fire fighter should ever sustain a burn in the line of duty bcause he/she is wearing their protective clothing!

    Also you stated, "I believe the City has asked all departments to forgo their raise in the "hopes" that the City won't have to lay anyone off. So do you suggest that they give up their guarranted raise & get laid off in six months or take their raise & get laid off?"

    If this is the case then how can the city even consider taking on the huge expense of starting an EMS, as well as hiring 7 more people when they apparently can't afford to pay the employees that they currently have?

  32. I just want to make it clear that not everyone at the city fire department wants EMS. However if we speak our mind our jobs would be made miserable. EMS will never work for the city especially the way they are going about it.


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