York County will not vote on EMS contract this month

adouglas@heraldonline.comDecember 12, 2012 

A decision from the York County Council on new guidelines for area EMS providers will not be made until the new year.

County Manager Jim Baker says the details of the contract between York County and Piedmont Medical Center have not been nailed down. A vote on the EMS provider contract, he said, won’t appear on the council’s Dec. 17 meeting agenda.

At least four of the seven council members wanted the contract on next week’s meeting agenda, Baker said, but the county manager has the legal right to set the agenda.

Normally there’s not much debate, Baker said, over what goes on the council’s agenda.

In this case, he said, the “meeting of the minds” is not finished over what should be in the EMS contract.

Discussion of possible contract revisions has been ongoing in York County for at least one year.

Piedmont ambulances and rescue squads compete across the county to provide emergency patient care.

Rescue squads have told council members they fear that one part of the plan will give Piedmont enough ground to put the squads out of business.

The debate centers over who will select a medical control physician who, under state law, sets patient care standards for all EMS providers countywide and determines who gets to provide services.

Under the current contract proposal, the county would select a physician and an assistant with Piedmont’s approval. The physician and assistant would be paid by Piedmont, at no cost to the county.

The county already has a contract with Piedmont to ensure ambulance response for patients countywide. The rescue squads, including volunteer responders, have assisted in different areas of the county without a contract with York County.

The York County Council’s last meeting of 2012 will be at 6 p.m. Dec. 17 in the Council Chambers in the Agricultural Building on 6 S. Congress St. in York.

Anna Douglas 803-329-4068

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