GREENVILLE, PA. Officials consider change in emergency response

Some people are calling private ambulance services directly in an emergency rather than dialing 911.
GREENVILLE, Pa. -- Borough council is considering an ordinance requiring the municipal fire department to be dispatched to all emergency calls in town.
Council heard a request for the regulation from Fire Chief Walter "Chad" Sankey who said some people who join specific ambulance services call those companies rather than the Mercer County 911 center when an emergency arises.
The fire department is never alerted to those calls, the chief said.
He said he believes that, in some cases, the fire department can get to emergency scenes faster than an ambulance service, getting first aid to victims sooner.
Borough Manger Peter Nicoloff said council decided to have its fire, police and traffic committee meet with Sankey to draft a proposed ordinance and could act on it in July. The ordinance could require private ambulance services to immediately notify 911 of any emergency medical calls, and 911 would then dispatch the fire department.
Other matters: In other business, council:
UAuthorized advertising for bids to sell a 1970 firetruck. The pumper was replaced with a new truck two years ago.
UGave final approval to an ordinance that reduces the sewer bill for residential customers. Residents will save only a few dollars on their monthly bills, Nicoloff said. Sewer rates are tied directly to water rates and are billed on a consumption ratio of 74 percent. That means a $10 water bill would generate a $7.40 sewer bill. The borough had anticipated that the Greenville Municipal Authority, which controls the water rates, would impose a 5 percent rate increase this year. However, the increase was set at 15 percent and that created a windfall in sewer fee revenue. Council decided to give that windfall back to the people by reducing the consumption ratio to 68 percent.

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