Concerns Over Cost of Emergency Responders


It's been nearly four years since Katie May says she nearly died.

"I took prescription medication from my doctor that he prescribed to me. I started having a bad reaction and within minutes I had to call the squad because I couldn't breathe," said May.

She credits the medics and firefighters from Tri-County for saving her life. But the next time she needs help, another department in Williamsport may respond because of a new proposal by Monroe Township Trustees.

"I don't think they are taking into consideration response time. It's 20 minutes from Williamsport to my house," May told 10TV's Jason Frazer.

Right now, three quarters of the township receives help from Tri-County in Mt. Sterling. The rest of the township is assisted by Southwest Fire in Williamsport. But under a new proposal, all emergency calls would be routed to first responders in Williamsport. Ted Rogers, a Monroe Township Trustee said it's because of money. "Due to an increase in contracts, we can't sustain where we are."

The township says the cost for Tri-County's assistance has nearly doubled to $109,000 this year. Rogers says the cost for emergency services is tied to the value of the township.
A recent state assessment found the township is worth double what it was last year.

The switch to Williamsport according to trustees would mean the township would be dependent on volunteers firefighters from Williamsport instead of full time responders from Mt. Sterling.

"I'm just kinda concerned about how our money is being spent," said resident Gary Liff. "I want the switch."

But not everyone is convinced money should decide who answers when they call 911.

"I'd rather pay a little bit more money on my taxes and know that I'm covered," says May.

The proposal has even caused a rift among some trustees. One trustee told 10TV he believes voters should decide what happens next. Another says it should be the trustee's decision.

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