Fulton County awaiting ruling on ambulance issue 2013.01.23

Written by David Green.

Fulton County’s EMS director is awaiting a response from the state’s attorney general office to settle the issue of Morenci’s ambulance operating in Chesterfield Township.

Morenci city council members learned last week that the Morenci Area EMS is no longer considered the first responder in the contract area established in Chesterfield Township. Instead, the Morenci unit will be called as a mutual aid squad to assist the Fulton County ambulance stationed in either Lyons or Fayette.

Neither Morenci nor Chesterfield Township officials were notified of the decision. Morenci rescue personnel learned about the change when arriving at the scene of an emergency and finding a Fulton County ambulance already there.

Chesterfield Township trustee Clark Emmons responded to an article and editorial in last week’s Observer, saying the Fulton County is not trying to push Morenci’s rescue services out of Ohio.

He said the question was raised at the county level about the legality of Morenci’s unit providing care in Chesterfield since it is not licensed to operate in Ohio.

The Fulton County prosecuting attorney was unable to settle the issue due to “vague language” in the Ohio Revised Code, Emmons said, so the matter was forwarded to the attorney general’s office for an opinion.

Emmons said there were a couple of dispatching errors in which the Morenci EMS was called to an incident, but found a Fulton County ambulance already at the scene.

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