Sylvania fire officials concerned with EMS response times - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Sylvania fire officials concerned with EMS response times

The Sylvania Township Fire Department, which serves the township and the city. The Sylvania Township Fire Department, which serves the township and the city.
SYLVANIA TOWNSHIP, OH (Toledo News Now) -

How safe are residents in the city of Sylvania and Sylvania Township if they find themselves in a life-threatening situation?

The head of the township fire union says there's reason to worry. The township fire department serves both the township and city, but ambulance service comes from outside the area, and that's affecting response time.

The township contracts with private companies to handle emergency ambulance runs. Crews from Toledo and Springfield Township are occasionally called in.

Township firefighters' union president Chris Nye says the arrangement is dangerous, and sometimes causes a 20 minute delay in response time.

"We're doing a disservice to our customers here in Sylvania Township and the city by delaying response time," Nye said.

Township Fire Chief Jeff Kowalski says the wait time is getting longer.

"We are working with the township trustees to get our own ambulance service without receiving more money from taxpayers," Kowalski said.

"We know when it's a life-threatening emergency and when it's not," Nye added. "We generally will use good judgment and err on the side of the customer."

Nye says the union and trustees have developed what he calls a 'cost neutral' plan for the service, but Sylvania Safety Director Kevin Aller isn't ready to support it.

"We have to take a look at it," he said. "Is it better to run it as a government-run function or better as a private function?"

Nye says the plan would take three months to set up.

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Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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