Perry Port Salem Rescue District seeks new funds

PORT JEFFERSON – Voters residing in the Perry Port Salem Ambulance District will be urged to consider passing an additional $ 2 million tax levy to provide, maintain and operate emergency medical services in the district on 2 November.

The additional levy will cost the taxpayer $ 70 per year for every $ 100,000 of property value over the next five years. Based on the estimates for 2020 values, the additional tax will bring in an additional $ 177,570 per year for the team to function. Currently, the ambulance board operates on a $ 1 million fee which generates approximately $ 65,000 per year to cover its contract with the team and the expenses of owning and maintaining two ambulances.

According to the statutes of the ambulance district, all tax money received is divided in three different ways, said Matthew Barhorst, member of the board of directors. Each board member is paid a minimum wage for the meetings they attend each year. A total of 75% of tax dollars is given to the squad for its operation and 25% is reserved for renewal and purchase of equipment.

“We may need to change our rules to make things work,” said Barhorst, who said it was becoming increasingly difficult to find volunteers to work on the team’s races. “I hope that if the levy passes, we can get the rescue team to work. “

He said the lack of volunteers is not just a problem in Shelby County. It is a problem across the country as people change their priorities and what they do with their time.

For years, Perry Port Salem Rescue has operated primarily with volunteers and, in recent years, paid part-time day staff. Current revenue from the tax base and billed journeys have prevented the employment of a workforce dedicated solely to 24-hour ambulance maintenance.

In 2019, Perry Port Salem had 119 EMS calls in the district. Of these, 13 calls (or 10.9%) had to be handled by neighboring agencies due to the drop in the number of volunteers.

In 2020, the call volume increased by 58% with 205 EMS calls in the district, 86 more than the previous year. Of these, 44 calls (or 21.5%) had to be handled by neighboring EMS agencies due to understaffing.

Fewer and fewer people continued their involvement, and at the end of May 2021, only seven people remained as active certified members of Perry Port Salem Rescue. By mid-September, there had been 194 EMS calls in the district, of which 111 (or 57.2%) had to be handled by neighboring agencies due to staff difficulties and the limited availability of volunteer staff. Based on the current rate of call volume, the district is expected to have 270 EMS calls by the end of the year.

Due to the increased burden on their staff and service to its own community, one of the neighboring jurisdictions that had handled the majority of appeals in the district terminated its first-call mutual aid contract, leaving the Perry Port Salem Ambulance District Board of Trustees are rushing to take immediate action necessary for the health and well-being of their constituents. In early September, members of the Perry Port Salem Ambulance District Council entered into a temporary contract with Spirit EMS, which has two stations in Shelby County, to begin handling calls in the ambulance district until the end of the year.

The Ambulance Board is hoping the fee will allow Perry Port Salem Rescue to hire EMS staff to meet the needs of the community around the clock. The team also plans to hold an EMT class starting in December and a class. first responders in January for anyone in the community interested in serving.

If the tax is not passed, members of the Perry Port Salem Ambulance District Board of Directors, including Barhorst, Steve Butterfield and Jeff Clark, have openly said the current funding level of $ 1 million is insufficient to financially support the minimum staff certification requirements under Ohio law, again leaving the district without 24/7 EMS protection, arrives on January 1, 2022.

For those who would like more information on the fee and / or squad needs, the Friends of Perry Port Salem Rescue are hosting a community picnic on Sunday, October 31, 2021, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the house. of the Perry Port Salem squad. , located at 205 Wall St., Port Jefferson, prior to the “Trick or Treat” community event. During the picnic, a free meal will be served, free blood pressure checks will be offered and officials will be on hand to answer any questions from residents.

Anyone unable to attend the Sunday picnic, but having questions about the royalty, are invited to contact Barhorst at 937-402-0113 or by email at [email protected]

The Ambulance District covers the townships of Salem, Perry and Green, which also includes Port Jefferson, Maplewood, Pasco, Pemberton and Tawawa.

Other tax issues

Several other tax questions will appear on the ballot. All issues are renewals.

Tri-County Board of Recovery and Mental Health Services has a $ 0.6 million 5-year property tax renewal on the ballot. The funds will provide counseling and support services to children and adults through alcohol and drug abuse programs and mental health programs.

The council covers Shelby, Miami and Darke counties.

The North West Fire District of Van Buren Township is asking for the renewal of a 2 million and 5 year property tax for fire protection.

Washington Township renewed a 5-year property tax of $ 0.2 million on the ballot. The funds from the tax would be used to pay the overhead and expenses of operating, supplying, maintaining and operating fire apparatus, appliances, buildings, water sources and materials. as well as the payment of permanent, part-time or volunteer firefighters. The funds could also be used to purchase ambulance services or emergency medical services managed by the fire department or the firefighting company.

The canton of Van Buren is asking for the renewal of a property tax of 3 million and 5 years. The funds will be used for general construction, reconstruction, resurfacing and repair of roads and streets in the township.

2 million property tax levy in the November 2 ballot

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