Liberty Township medical director says patients should matter more than politics

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Liberty Township Trustee Melanie Leneghan says the only thing the township is doing is "fact-gathering" and nothing has been decided about the future of local EMS.

Residents though, think her mind is made up as she calls a county takeover a win-win.

"So, is that a mixed message; that it's a fact-gathering time but, yet, you seem to be pro-county taking this over," 10TV News Reporter Bryant Somerville asked.

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"Part of fact-gathering is listening to your residents," Leneghan said. "And, we've spent hours doing that."

The majority of residents, roughly 75 percent, voted to keep their current EMS in November of 2017.

Leneghan also sent an email to a Delaware County Administrator on Dec. 4 where she said things like: "I for one feel more convinced that Liberty Township will be MUCH better off and MUCH safer with Delaware County EMS. I would like to start by hiring your medical director as of January 1."

She goes on to say "My next step would be to 'test' DCEMS and ask for a three man medic at either station to take the place of our medic."

Leneghan said on Wednesday this was only her opinion and it is irresponsible to suggest inconsistency, or that any wheels of change were in motion.

"That e-mail clearly states that her agenda is 'We're moving forward and the Liberty Township EMS system is broken'," Liberty Township Medical Director Warren Yamarick said.

Dr. Yamarick has been the Liberty Township medical director for 28 years. Leneghan wants to replace him even though he was the 2018 EMS Director of the Year and leads five different departments under one protocol.

When asked why she does not want to keep Yamarick, Leneghan said "I appreciate Dr. Yamarick's service to the community, absolutely. However, there have been performance issues."

She would not elaborate on any issues. Yamarick says he has no clue what she is talking about.

"She has never once brought any concerns or issues to me one-on-one," Yamarick said.

Trustee Shyra Eichhorn told 10TV that in almost 30 years of service there is not one single documented performance issue against Dr. Yamarick.

Leneghan did say with this new direction, Yamarick does not fit. She says he is not a bad man or a bad medical director, but he just does not fit.

Yamarick says even if he is ousted, he will continue to speak for the people of Liberty Township.

"This is about patient care," he said. "It's not about me. At the end of the day, I will still be a resident there and I will still be fighting for what's best for our township."

Leneghan says by switching to a county EMS system, it would save Liberty Township taxpayers $3 million per year.

Leneghan also says she would like the decision to possibly change EMS services to come from voters.

An attorney told 10TV that is possible by asking to replace the current levy with a lower millage rate levy for only fire services.