NM council discusses EMS situation

By Eric Christiansen

NORTH MANCHESTER -- The North Manchester Town Council responded to two concerns from a town resident in its monthly meeting July 3.

During the June 5 meeting Anthony DeLaughter raised questions about long response times from Parkview EMS and the possibility of North Manchester starting its own service.

Council President Chalmer “Toby” Tobias addressed the issue after members met and discussed DeLaughter's concerns

“With the current five-year contract with the county and Parkview, each year the town will collect over $50,000 over expenditures,” Tobias said. “There is a possibility the town could reduce the EMS fees by 40 percent for the next several years and be OK. We are limited to what we can spend with the $50,000. There are options on the table looked at, but that doesn't have to remain the case.”

Tobias said concerning North Manchester starting its own ambulance service, the idea has been discussed.

“It will be looked into more heavily as we get closer to the end of the current contract,” he said. “There is someone posted in this building (Public Safety Building). There has been an open line with them from day one, and we feel really good about the direction they have taken and their willingness to come back to something to make sure it works to the best of their abilities.”
DeLaughter responded during visitor comments by sharing an experience from Monday, July 1.

“Parkview – there was a 27 minute response time Monday for somebody who fell on Wayne Street,” he said. “An ambulance did not come from Manchester, meanwhile, we have two ambulances parked here that were not being manned on Monday.
“(Fire chief) Cam (Kissinger) has had to wait multiple times to wait for ambulances.”

Kissinger clarified the situation.

“I had just come from a run where Silver Lake was on a run to Front Street,” he said. “The Manchester truck was already out on a call. The second truck was not staffed because of low staffing.”

“If Parkview doesn't have an ambulance close, they need to tell our dispatch they need to send the closest truck – Lutheran, Wabash, wherever,” DeLaughter said. “Somebody doesn't need to be lying on a sidewalk for 27 minutes waiting for an ambulance to show up.”

Tobias took notes, but per standard order of procedure, council does not immediately respond to visitor comments until it has further discussion, then responds the following meeting.

The next council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Public Safety Building.

Posted on 2019 Jul 09