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Plan to seek bids for EMS challenged by Brentwood councilman

| Thursday, July 31, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

A Brentwood councilman tried Monday to stop the process of seeking bids for emergency medical services, but the borough's solicitor said it was too late.

Less than two weeks after Brentwood leaders sent out requests for proposal to two area EMS providers, Councilman Rich Schubert made the motion to reverse the move, which would keep Brentwood EMS, which has serviced the town for 37 years, as the borough's provider.

Yet, with requests for proposals already sent out, borough solicitor Clifford Levine said the proposals must be returned before any such motion can be made.

“You can't undo the act of sending out. People are going to respond,” Levine said. “Once the applications come in, you don't have to accept them. You can do whatever you want to do.”

Brentwood leaders broached the idea of exploring options for emergency medical services because Brentwood EMS' 10-year lease for space at the Brentwood Borough building was set to end July 31, officials said. Council members last week agreed to allow Brentwood EMS to stay in the building as long as it is available as long as they are selected as the borough's EMS provider.

If council members choose not to move forward with the process of reviewing proposals submitted by Brentwood EMS and Medical Rescue Team South Authority, they would have to wait until the documents are submitted, Levine said.

“Council maintains that discretion upon receiving it,” Levine said. “But you're asking to undo what was done.”

Proposals were sent to Brentwood EMS and MRTSA, which provides services to Mt. Lebanon, Whitehall, Baldwin Township, Castle Shannon, Dormont and Green Tree. Proposals are due back to Brentwood leaders by Aug. 29, borough Manager George Zboyovsky said.

Brentwood EMS leaders are in the process of preparing the request for proposal to submit to borough leaders, director Joanne Cook said.

Borough leaders plan to hire a consultant to help with the review process of the two proposals, council President Marty Vickless said. A consultant likely will be hired in August, he said.

“We have proposals coming in from consultants for the EMS services,” Vickless said. “We contacted numerous consultants to see what they would come back with and we had to check for conflicts of interest with the parties involved.”

A crowd of nearly 50 people filled Brentwood Council chambers Monday night, many wearing Brentwood EMS T-shirts and offering support for the borough's longstanding service. As many as 150 people have filled council chambers since the issue was raised last month.

John Posa, a paramedic with Brentwood EMS, questioned how a change in providers could affect response times.

“Tell me response times aren't going to be compromised by bringing another service in,” Posa said. “We know the residents of Brentwood.”

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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