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3146 Authorization of EMS Task Force Creation
RESOLUTION CREATING AND AUTHORIZING THE
WARREN COUNTY EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES TASK FORCE
WHEREAS, Warren County is served by nine Basic Life Support (BLS) agencies, one paid and eight volunteers, as well as one Advanced Life Support (ALS) agency, and a number of Quick Response Service (QRS) agencies; and
WHEREAS, the Warren County Public-Safety Answering Point (PSAP or E911), received and dispatched 10,480 EMS calls in the 2018 calendar year; and
WHEREAS, County Commissioner Ben Kafferlin identified pre-hospital care as one of Warren County’s most pressing problems in both the 2018 and 2019 State of the County addresses due to the fact that a quarter of the dispatched E911 calls went unanswered by the nearest available BLS agency due to insufficient staffing and another quarter took longer than 10 minutes to respond; and
WHEREAS, for many reasons, volunteer ambulance services have seen decreasing number of certified EMS personnel and paid agencies are increasingly finding difficulty in hiring trained personnel; and
WHEREAS, Pennsylvania Act 37 of 2009 passed and was implemented in 2014 requiring an EMS Plan, which caused the COG Fire Services Committee to craft the County-wide EMS Plan and it was approved by all BLS agencies and went into effect in 2017; and
WHEREAS, said EMS Plan has not been consistently followed by most BLS agencies, nor have the subsequent quality meetings lead to the voluntary implementation of ideas presented at said meetings, creating room for error, increased response times, threatening the lives, health and well-being of those in need of response; and
WHEREAS, the responsibility for fire and EMS is, by statute, within the scope of municipal government, with dispatch and E911 falling within the scope of County government; and
WHEREAS, the citizens of Warren County reasonably expect on-time delivery of emergency medical services; and
WHEREAS, Warren County has an aging population and increasing number of EMS calls; and
WHEREAS, the Warren County Board of Commissioners are taking a proactive role in developing and, with consent, implementing plans and programs that will result in better coverage and timely response for people in need of emergency medical assistance;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF WARREN COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, do hereby proclaim their support for the creation of the Warren County Emergency Medical Services Task Force and its effort to maintain or improve pre-hospital care to the residents of Warren County, Pennsylvania,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that:
Section 1. Creation. The Warren County Board of Commissioners do hereby authorize the Warren County Emergency Medical Services Task Force.
Section 2. Purpose. The purpose of the Warren County Emergency Medical Services Task Force is to create a prioritized list of recommendations to municipalities, agencies and other stakeholders, in an effort to ascertain EMS needs and solutions to the pre-hospital care crisis on a County-wide basis, and report back to the Warren County Board of Commissioners by April 15 of 2020.
Section 3. Limitations on Authority. The Warren County Emergency Medical Services Task Force is advisory only and shall not have the power or authority to commit Warren County or any of its agencies or instruments to any policies, incur any financial obligations, or create any liability, contractual or otherwise, on behalf of Warren County or any of its agencies or instrumentalities.
Section 4. Membership. The Warren County Emergency Medical Services Task Force shall consist of a minimum of seven members appointed by the Warren County Board of Commissioners and consist of one Warren County Commissioner and six or more community members.
- Member appointments shall be made at a public meeting of the Warren County Board of Commissioners. In the event of a vacancy by an existing member, a replacement shall be found and appointed at the next available public meeting of the Warren County Board of Commissioners.
- Members shall reflect the diversity of the community, including representation from townships, boroughs, and the City of Warren, as well as the EMS Council, COG Fire Services, Fire Services Committee, Warren County Department of Public Safety, and ideally, representation from QRS, BLS and ALS providers.
- Members of the Warren County Emergency Medical Services Task Force shall select their chairperson and vice-chairperson by a simple majority vote at the first meeting following the adoption of this Resolution. Any member vacancies shall be filled by appointment of replacements by the Warren County Board of Commissioners in a public meeting after recommended replacements have been presented to the Commissioners by the Task Force. In the event of a chairperson vacancy, the vice-chairperson shall conduct the meeting and the members of the Task Force shall select a new chairperson at the next meeting where a majority of the members are in attendance. In the event of a vice-chairperson vacancy, a new vice-chairperson shall be approved at the next meeting where a majority of the Task Force members are in attendance.
Section 5. Organization and procedures at meetings. The Warren County Emergency Medical Services Task Force shall meet on an as-needed basis, determined by group itself. Members of the Warren County Emergency Medical Services Task Force shall select their chairperson and vice-chairperson at the first official meeting. The chairperson shall preside at all meetings at which he or she is present. The vice-chairperson shall act as chairperson in the absence of the chairperson.
The Warren County Emergency Medical Services Task Force may establish, adopt, and amend bylaws, rules, and regulation for its own governance, as the body sees fit. In order to transact any business or to exercise any power vested in the Warren County Emergency Medical Services Task Force, a quorum consisting of a majority of those persons duly appointed shall be present. The members shall serve without compensation.
Section 6. Regulations. All proceedings of the Warren County Emergency Medical Services Task Force shall be conducted in accordance with the Government in the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, 65 Pa.C.S. §§ 701-716 and the Pennsylvania County Code. The Warren County Sustainability Task Force shall be deemed an “agency” for the purposes of the Open Records Law. The Warren County Sustainability Task Force shall be governed by all State and County conflict of interest laws, as applicable. At each meeting, notes will be taken and then given to the Warren County Chief Clerk to serve as a public record of each meeting.
Section 7. Plan, Report and responsibilities. The group will work in conjunction with the Warren County Department of Public Safety, along with any other relevant agencies within Warren County, to develop a comprehensive plan.
The resulting report, which the Warren County Emergency Medical Services Task Force is charged with producing, will be at the discretion of the Task Force as far as content and direction.
Section 8. Staff. The Warren County Emergency Medical Services Task Force may be provided with assistance from County staff on an as-needed basis. The staff may be tasked with keeping and preparing records of the Task Force; may prepare, in cooperation with the chairperson, the agenda for each meeting; be responsible for the preparation of reports, minutes, documents, or correspondence as the Task Force may direct; provide data and research; and, generally administer the business and affairs of the Task Force, subject to the limitations of the County budget and general staff availability. The County Solicitor shall provide legal counsel, as needed, to the Task Force.
Section 9. Authorized collaboration. Although the Warren County Emergency Medical Services Task Force reports directly to the Warren County Board of Commissioners, the Board encourages and supports federal, state, and local initiatives to increase the quality and speed of care, and further promote join ventures and investment.
Section 10. Sunset. The Warren County Emergency Medical Services Task Force shall sunset and stand dissolved on the 1st day of July, 2020 unless the Acting Board of Commissioners extends the term of service by majority vote of a supportive Resolution. The Warren County Emergency Medical Services Task Force may need to continue beyond the sunset period in order to provide guidance and coordination on the execution of projects related to its initial proposals and provide public education and further guidance to the community beyond its initial parameters.
This resolution shall become effective upon adoption.
APPROVED this 25th day of September 2019.
COMMISSIONERS OF WARREN COUNTY
Attest: Vice Chair
Pamela J. Matve Jeff Eggleston
Chief Clerk Secretary