City of Findlay Says Findlay Fire Department EMS Service Not Cost Effective
The events in Boston and West, Texas remind us that emergency services are critical to the safety and security of our City. While the City of Findlay can count on support from outside of our community, when that call comes in and the clock starts ticking, the protection of lives and property will depend on the resource that the City of Findlay provides.
We must look for efficiencies to provide the best service at the lowest possible cost. One idea that has been talked about is a plan that would allow the Findlay Fire Department to take over EMS services. It would seem that some duplication of effort could be eliminated and efficiencies gained if the FFD would provide EMS services to our community.
I called two of our city council member to see if any thought was being given to this idea. It was suggested that I call the Service/Safety Director Paul Schmelzer. In my conversation with Mr. Schmelzer I asked if there had been any analysis on the idea of allowing the FFD to handle EMS calls. I was informed by Mr. Schmelzer that despite the fact that a private company is able to provide EMS services and despite the fact that the Ohio Performance Audit has shown that Findlay is outside the norm by outsourcing EMS, it would cost Findlay in the neighborhood of one million dollars per year above what could be collected from insurance billing to provide EMS services.
When I pressed Mr. Schmelzer on the details, I was not convinced that thorough analysis had been performed. Mr. Schmelzer assured me that he could stand by his number. When I ask Mr. Schmelzer to make his analysis public, I did not get a clear answer to that request. A call to Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik was not returned.
With an election just around the corner, I would again ask the administration to make public their reasoning and numbers in regard to their decision not to transition EMS service to the Findlay Fire Department. I feel that Findlay could benefit from open debate of this important issue.