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Hubbard solves EMS problems

Fire district buys two used ambulances at $63,000 and hires 12 part-time staff

Staff photo / Bob Coupland George Brown, acting fire chief of the Eagle Joint Fire District, shows a picture of an ambulance the fire district will be getting as ambulance transport service will be provided in Hubbard Township and city starting June 4.

HUBBARD TOWNSHIP — Several residents were appreciative of the Eagle Joint Fire District, which found a new ambulance and emergency medical service to serve Hubbard and Hubbard Township starting in June.

The board, working with acting fire Chief George Brown, on Wednesday approved the necessary steps to get the ambulance transport service ready to kick off June 4.

The board approved the purchase of two used ambulances at $63,000 and also an agreement to rent an ambulance at $25 per day from Mecca Fire Department until the two ambulances are received and outfitted with all necessary equipment in a month.

“It will take us time to get the ambulances lettered and get radios installed, so we will have the ambulance from Mecca. When our neighbors may not be available to help, we could in a jam transport with that ambulance. We are grateful Mecca is willing to do this for us,” Brown said.

The board also approved 12 part-time paramedics and emergency medical service staff for the district to be covered 24 hours, seven days per week.

Brown, who is serving as acting fire chief until July 20 or the return of Ron Stanish who is on sick leave, said some of the staff are from the area and others are from outside the area but have worked for Lane LifeTrans and in the Hubard community.

“We will be able to provide around-the-clock coverage. This is a big step and long awaited. There will be no additional taxes. We will provide ambulance service within the confines we have,” he said.

Stanish secured grants and funds for some life-saving equipment for the district.

A billing company also was secured to help with generating funds for the service. A contract with Medicount Management of Cincinnati to help with billing for Medicare and Medicaid was approved. The company is paid based on a percentage of what is collected.

Brown said the district already has answered more than 600 calls this year and a private ambulance company would not be able to provide the personnel to handle that volume.

“We are moving along as quickly as we can to make sure the citizens of the city and township are protected within the funds that we have,” Bill Williams, a board member and Hubbard council president, said.

Brown said in addition to serving Hubbard city and Hubbard Township, the district also will help neighboring departments who have been helping them.

He thanked Lane LifeTrans for its help, noting the company has lost nine paramedics this year to other jobs.

“I was amazed that we had 20 applications,” he said.

“We want to create a solid future plan on what is needed for sustainability,” Hubbard Mayor Ben Kyle said earlier this week.

John Bizub, emergency medical service coordinator for the fire district, said, “This has been 20-plus years in the making. We are ecstatic that we will be in control of our community now. The township and city residents will benefit from this.”

Kimberly Pasco with Elmwood Assisted Living and Countryside at the Elms in Hubbard Township said EMS often is called for the 70 residents.

“We thank you for obtaining and securing EMS for the safety of our residents,” she said.

Hubbard Township resident Diana Edwards, who is hosting a fundraiser May 25 at The Gentry to raise funds for the fire district, said, “It is amazing what they have done. The whole community has come together.”

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