Saturday, October 25, 2014

County formalizes EMS agreement with neighboring agency

By ABBY ECKEL, Herald Staff Writer | 11/11/2013

An unwritten agreement between Franklin County Emergency Medical Services and Miami County Emergency Medical Services has been formalized.

For as long as he can remember, Nick Robbins said Franklin County EMS and Miami County EMS have been lending each other a hand when needed.

An unwritten agreement between Franklin County Emergency Medical Services and Miami County Emergency Medical Services has been formalized.

For as long as he can remember, Nick Robbins said Franklin County EMS and Miami County EMS have been lending each other a hand when needed.

“We’ve always had a handshake agreement that we’d cover I-35 and [Miami County EMS] would cover U.S. 169,” Robbins, Franklin County ambulance director, said. “For as long as I know it’s been a handshake agreement, but we’re getting all of our mutual aid agreements up-to-date and this was the last one that needed to get done.”

According to county documents, Franklin County EMS will be dispatched to any call for emergency medical services in Miami County on I-35 from the Franklin County Line to the Johnson County Line, and the area will include from the Miami and Franklin County line east to Edgerton Road, and from Miami County’s north county line at 215th Street south to 231st Street.

The agreement is to make sure an EMS team gets to where it needs to be as quick as possible, Robbins said.

“Our longest response time last year was 27 minutes down to Timberlake Estates, just south and east of Lane,” he said. “[Franklin County EMS] got stuck behind a train, but Miami County doesn’t have obstacles from where they are to [Timberlake Estates].”

As well as Franklin County EMS taking calls in Miami County, Miami County EMS will take certain calls in Franklin County.

“Miami County EMS will be dispatched to any call for emergency medical services in Franklin County on U.S. 169 from the Miami County line to the Anderson County line, and will include from Butler Terrace and Timberlake Road in Franklin County south to 2500 Road and the Franklin/Anderson County line and from Franklin/Miami County line west to Vermont Road,” according to county documents.

Since the handshake agreement has lengthy history, Dave Ediger said he thinks it’s a great way for both county EMS departments to serve as many people as possible.

“I would say it’s truly just addressing the needs of both communities and doing the right thing for the right reasons,” Ediger, Miami County EMS chief, said. “The number of calls that would occur in the small section we’ve outlined, that number is relatively small. I don’t think it will have a huge impact on daily operations at either department.”

Ediger said he has no concerns about Franklin County EMS taking calls in Miami County since it will help a larger number of people and provide faster response times.

“I think it will serve the needs of both communities best,” Ediger said. “We’re very supportive of each other. I think we both want to work together and serve the needs of the community the best we can. There will be times where we need each other, so we’re working to develop those relationships.”

The agreement was discussed at the Franklin County Board of Commissioners study session Monday and was approved Wednesday.

Franklin County EMS also has mutual aid agreements with surrounding counties, Robbins said.

“We have a mutual aid with Douglas, Osage and Anderson counties,” he said. “With this [agreement] we wanted to take it a step further since there are areas that have been gray areas.”

Robbins said the mutual agreements won’t take away from the service Franklin County and other county EMS provides.

“There is no loss of care in [entering into a mutual aid agreement],” he said.

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