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Consultant hired to help Brentwood decide on EMS

| Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

A man with an extensive background in managing emergency medical services and coordinating disaster training as far away as India could help Brentwood leaders decide the future of their EMS.

Brentwood Council, in a 6-0 vote Monday, hired Richard William Lippert, a partner with GetYouThinking, LLC, to provide EMS consulting services, should they be needed. The firm is based in Lower Burrell. Councilman John Frombach was absent.

Borough leaders are awaiting proposals from two local emergency medical services with plans for how they could best provide services for the 9,000-resident town, council President Marty Vickless said. Requests for proposal were sent out, by invite only, to Medical Rescue Team South Authority, or MRTSA, and 37-year borough provider Brentwood Emergency Medical Service in July and with a Friday deadline for submission.

“Basically, what we're looking for is that we provide the best service available to the residents of Brentwood, from the most-stable, best-trained, most-equipped service that we can find,” Vickless said. “On the secondary level is the affordability of it. Obviously, we can't spend $1 million a year on EMS. There is an eye towards cost.”

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 later in July agreed to allow Brentwood EMS to stay in the building as long as it is available as long as it is selected as the borough's EMS provider.

Once the proposals are received, borough leaders plan to bring in Lippert to review the submissions, help conduct interviews with the EMS providers and make a recommendation to council, Vickless said.

Councilman Pat Carnevale said Lippert will be brought in only if needed.

“It's fairly simple. If both parties respond, he's needed,” Vickless said. “I'm not comfortable, and the majority of council is not comfortable with making the determination of what those needs are and how those needs are met by the EMS. That's why we need an outside party.”

Lippert will be paid between $4,500 and $5,100 for the job, if performed.

Borough leaders considered other consultants for the position, but one out-of-state firm would have cost between $50,000 and $60,000, Zboyovsky said. Two others had done previous work with MRTSA and Brentwood EMS and were unable to obtain waivers needed, due to conflicts of interest.

Lippert served as the EMS/emergency-preparedness coordinator for Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh from 2001 to 2013, where he coordinated the move of the hospital and 156 patients and two incident-command centers, 40 EMS units and more than 80 EMS personnel. His resume includes work in India coordinating an international disaster plan for the country.

Lippert could not be reached for comment.

In Brentwood, he would use a grading scale to rate how each of the services “meet and exceed the needs of the borough,” Vickless said.

Resident David Cook on Monday questioned why council members were not closely watching funds, as they had on other items, when it came to the hiring of the EMS consultant. He also questioned why the borough did not include a cost when voting on the hire and failed to give residents background Lippert.

Vickless said the failure to include the dollar figure in the motion was an “oversight” because council members knew what they were voting on.

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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