The township supervisors adopted two resolutions, one for fire services and another for emergency medical services, which will set the stage for future growth and expansion.
The key points of the fire services resolution are:
A. Phase 1 Milestones: – (0 - 6 months):
- Form a joint Township – Black Rock Volunteer Fire Company steering committee to address the integration of career and volunteer firefighters who shall operate as one combination fire department.
- Identify space at the Oaks Station and relocate daytime career staff to the Oaks station.
- Consider supporting a volunteer stipend program or volunteer live-in program to bolster the volunteer response.
B. Phase 2 Milestones: – (6 - 36 months)
- On or before October 1, 2018 finalize the design, bid specifications and cost scope for a new emergency services facility.
- Transition career firefighter/EMTs to twelve-hour shifts (6:00am to 6:00pm) seven days per week beginning January 1, 2019
- Fund the hiring of two full-time career firefighter/EMTs and the transition of existing career firefighters to 12-hour shifts as part of the 2019 budget.
- On or before January 1, 2019 advertise and award bids for a new emergency services facility. April 16, 2018 BOS Meeting Page 148 of 162
- Relocate career firefighters to the new emergency services facility upon completion of the facility which shall act as the main hub of fire service delivery to Upper Providence Township.
- Develop a plan for the disposition of the Mont Clare Fire Station and support Black Rock Volunteer Fire Company in evaluating and making needed upgrades to the Oaks Fire Station.
- Consider forming a committee of elected and appointed officials from Upper Providence Township, Trappe, Collegeville and Royersford Boroughs to explore ways to improve cost efficiencies and to develop a regional solution for providing fire services.
- Seek regional grant support and professional consulting assistance from Harrisburg to help forge a realistic, regional fire services blueprint by 2025.
- Explore the formation of a Council of Governments to maintain a regular dialogue among area elected officials, not only on fire-related issues but all areas of municipal service.
This resolution was adopted unanimously by the board.
However the second resolution, regarding emergency medical services, has a more contentious history, with two board members, Albert Vagnozzi and Phillip Barker voting no.
Some of you may recall Vagnozzi was vocal about the plan by the previous board to buy a new ambulance, and he said he agreed with everything about the resolution, except the step to delay the purchase of a new ambulance and instead institute 24/7 paramedic coverage and purchase a vehicle for that purpose.
Aside from the $250,000 cost for coverage, Vagnozzi also said "there is no doubt in my mind that the staff was bullied by people on this board to come up with this matrix and I'm shocked."
Supervisors Chairman John Pearson said he wanted to pursue the option that is most helpful to the two out-of-town ambulance services that provide service to Upper Providence, saying "I am not going to tell Trappe and Friendship how to run their business."
Supervisors Laurie Higgins and Helen Calci read from written statements about their reasons for supporting the move.
The emergency medical plan is as follows:
A. Phase 1 Milestones:
- On or before June 1, 2018 prepare and circulate a competitive request for proposal (RFP) for staffing an ALS medic responder twenty-four (24) hours per day, seven (7) days per week.
- On or before August 1, 2018, present for the Board of Supervisors’ consideration a written agreement with the contracted agency.
- On or before August 15, 2018, and in compliance with Commonwealth bidding laws, procure and upfit a vehicle to provide an ALS medic responder capability for use by the contracted agency utilizing proceeds from the DOW grant.
- On or before September 15, 2018 formally deploy the ALS medic responder at an interim, centralized location within the Township.
B. Phase 2 Milestones:
- On or before October 1, 2018 finalize the design, bid specifications and cost scope for a new emergency services facility, which will include a dual design for a future full-service ALS ambulance.
- In preparing the 2019 operating and capital budget, increase the EMS portion of the public safety levy to fund the ALS medic responder.
- On or before January 1, 2019 advertise and award bids for a new emergency services facility.
- Maintain current QRS capability through January 1, 2019 and expand QRS capability after January 1, 2019 to coincide with expanded firefighter/EMT shifts.
- Relocate the ALS medic responder to the new emergency services facility upon its completion.
- Annually evaluate EMS call volume and response statistics beginning in February of 2019 for the prior year to determine when it may be appropriate to deploy an ALS ambulance.
C. Phase 3 Milestones: – Over the next 3-5 years and before deploying an ALS ambulance:
- Consider forming a committee of elected and appointed officials from Upper Providence Township, Trappe, Collegeville and Royersford Boroughs to explore ways to improve cost efficiencies and to develop a regional solution for providing emergency medical services.
- Seek regional grant support and professional consulting assistance from Harrisburg to help forge a realistic, regional EMS blueprint by 2025.
- Explore the formation of a Council of Governments to maintain a regular dialogue among area elected officials, not only on EMS-related issues but all areas of municipal service.
Here are the Tweets from the meeting: