RANSOM TWP. — The Newton-Ransom Volunteer Fire Company has approached the two townships it serves with a request for the funding of one or two full-time paid EMTs. EMS Captain Cody Stanco attended the Sept. 12 Ransom Township supervisors meeting, held at the municipal building on Hickory Lane, to give a brief presentation and answer questions from the board and residents.
A packet was available to those in attendance, highlighting two proposals made to the municipalities, outlining two possible schedules.
The total annual expenses for the paid EMTs would come to $233,235 for the first proposal, or $155,064 the for the second. Both are based on a $17.75 per hour rate, through Commonwealth. The company is requesting the funding from both Newton and Ransom townships.
“Having the ambulance staffed 24/7 would provide a guaranteed immediate response to all EMS emergencies,” read the handout, which prepared by Stanco.
“Currently having limited EMTs with busy schedules is hard to complete a full legal crew to respond to emergencies. Recently it has been made harder by the state for volunteer ambulances because the drivers of the ambulances must have a minimum certification of Emergency Medical Responder, which means the ambulance needs two EMTs in order to respond.”
Supervisor David Bird explained the board asked Stanco to come so the township residents could have the opportunity to give their input on the topic.
“We’re going to try and get in touch with the supervisors from Newton,” he said. “I don’t know where we’re going with this. It’s not an easy fix for them, and it’s going to be money that they don’t know where it’s coming from. But we felt that it was important that the people are here to know what’s going on.”
Resident Ed Johnston commented, saying he believes the money should come from the state, as over-regulation by the state is causing the lack of volunteers.
“Our state (legislators), in their infinite wisdom, throw so many roadblocks to make volunteerism almost impossible, I feel the money should come from them,” he said. “But it’s so easy, they just pass it off on somebody else, and that’s not right.”
Stanco said the Newton-Ransom company is the only one in Lackawanna County that does not have any paid staffing.
Supervisor Jerry Brown said he agrees the situation has been put into the laps of the supervisors with limited options.
“We brought it up because we want to hear from everybody, because it’s our money. And it’s a tough decision, and I think the more people that give us input, the better decision we can make.”
The next regular Ransom Township meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3 at the Mount Dewey Community Hall.
Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal