City Moving Forward With Plan To Take On EMS Management
The Glenwood City Council has passed the first reading of an ordinance that would put the management of Glenwood Fire and Rescue’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) into city hands. EMS is currently managed by the Glenwood Volunteer Fire Association.
Taking on EMS services would bring five full-time and three part-time employees onto the city payroll, creating about $500,000 in additional costs.
“What it’s allowing us to do is to have paid staff that are both EMS trained and firefighter trained,” Glenwood City Administrator Amber Farnan said. “They will be dual purpose.”
In an interview earlier this year, Farnan said the primary benefit of the city taking over EMS is that the service will remain available to Glenwood residents.
“We keep the great EMS service that we have had and offer those employees a little bit better wage that they don’t have now,” she said. “It would be a big undertaking. The city already owns all of the equipment. We pay for the ambulances and we also pay for all fuel and medical supplies.”
The city council must pass three readings of the ordinance for approval. The second and third readings are expected to be on city council meeting agendas on Aug. 9 and Aug. 23. With final passage of the ordinance, the city would likely take over EMS services in September, Farnan said.
The first reading of the ordinance passed by a 4-1 margin at the council’s July 26 meeting, with councilman Dan McComb casting the lone “No” vote.
“I don’t think we can financially afford five full-time people,” McComb stated before the vote.
If the ordinance is passed, the five new full-time employees will receive the same benefits as other full-time city employees.
Farnan said the city intends to use some of its American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to subsidize EMS for at least the first year.