Girard increases pay for paramedics, firefighters for ambulance service

GIRARD — With plans by city and fire officials to have an ambulance service in place by late summer, council approved pay increases for the paramedics and firefighters who will provide the service to the public.

City council on Monday approved increasing the pay of part-time emergency medical technicians, paramedics and firefighters from the current pay of between $13 and $15.

Fire Chief James Petruzzi said there was a need to increase the pay of the part-time staff who will help with the ambulance service. He said part-time basic EMT / firefighters will be paid $18 per hour, part-time advanced EMT / firefighters $19 per hour and part-time paramedics / firefighters $20 per hour.

Council suspended the rules to give the pay increases three readings to allow Petruzzi and city officials to get staff in place and prepared for summer.

Mayor Mark Zuppo said the city is getting a $225,842 new ambulance with American Rescue Plan funds from the county commissioners.

Petruzzi said the department has also found a $20,000 used ambulance from Penn Care, which was previously used by the Champion Fire Department.

Council also approved establishing an ambulance service capital project fund and ambulance service fund.

Safety / Service Director Sal Ponzio said the funds are needed for the ARP monies from the county and revenue generated from the ambulance service.

He said the department wants to begin interviews for staff.

Petruzzi said the department wanted a used ambulance so there will be two ambulances at the fire station and added that when the program begins there will need to be five people on duty, per day, with at least two ambulances.

The approved ARP funds will go toward the new ambulance, along with painting, graphics, as well as a power cot and loader.

Zuppo said while the ambulance will take nine to 10 months for delivery, the ambulance service may be ready to begin in late summer.

He said after the first year the service will generate enough funds to pay for itself.

Girard stopped providing an ambulance service 20 years ago because in 2004 the city was in fiscal emergency.

Currently, Girard emergency medical service responds to medical emergencies and accidents, but has a private company transport the patient to a hospital.

City officials and council’s health and safety committee have discussed adding part-time firefighters to help effectively run and sustain the ambulance service.


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