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BOARDMAN Township takes back Rural Metro's penalty



Published: Tue, September 18, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The company showed that it had met the time limit for responses.

By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

BOARDMAN -- The township has rescinded a three-day suspension on a Youngstown ambulance company's medical emergency service.

Rural Metro Ambulance, based on Market Street, was to be taken off the township rotation list Sept. 22, 25 and 28 for falling below township standards for response times. The company will be in service all three of those dates.

Township Fire Chief James Dorman said errors in the reported times of three emergency calls caused the company to exceed the nine-minute time limit set by the township.

What went wrong: In one call, Dorman said the company was sent via the 911 emergency system to an address on Lake Park Road when the actual emergency call came from an address on McClurg Road. He said the mix-up was caused by the phone system at the company that called in the emergency and was not the fault of 911 or Rural Metro.

Dorman said two other calls were reported inaccurately when dispatchers could not log paramedics' arrival because they were busy with more urgent calls. Both calls, he said, were a few seconds over the nine-minute limit. Rural Metro officials tracked the calls using audio tapes to discover the discrepancies in the logged times.

The township uses three companies, Rural Metro, Pellin and Clemente ambulance services, on a rotating basis to answer emergency medical calls, each company picking up calls every third day.

An agreement reached among township officials and the ambulance companies in the early 1990s stipulates that each company must maintain a nine-minute response time in 90 percent of answered calls. The companies are required to turn response times over to the fire department for scrutiny every four months.

If it doesn't meet the time requirements for emergency response during a four-month period, the company receives a warning. If the company falls short for a second four-month period within a year, it is given a three-day suspension.

Dorman said that in the future, township officials will give any of the three companies a few days to check their records for inaccuracies before they issue the suspension notice.




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