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Supervisors confirm Sewickley ambulance as primary responder

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Friday, June 21, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Sewickley Township supervisors this week made official what they announced earlier this month — Sewickley Township Community Ambulance Service is once again the municipality's primary responder for emergency calls.

The supervisors unanimously approved designating the company the township's official ambulance service, effective June 1, and were unanimous in dissolving the agreement with Jeannette EMS Inc., which designated that service as the primary responder.

The Community Ambulance Service had continued to provide emergency services during the dispute and serves Madison, as well.

The approval is contingent upon preparing and signing a final agreement with the ambulance service, which the township anticipates will be done within a few weeks, said Supervisor Alan Fossi. That agreement will be retroactive to June 1, said Supervisor Wanda Layman.

Fossi and Layman had reached a new one-year contract with Community Ambulance Service on June 7. That agreement requires that the Rostraver/West Newton Emergency Services Inc. work in conjunction with Community Ambulance Service in providing emergency services and overseeing its financial operations.

The agreement gives the supervisors a representative on the ambulance service board. Fossi said he will represent the township on the board, although the supervisors did not vote on that matter. He said one problem the township has had with the ambulance service was a lack of communication, which he said he hopes will be resolved with representation on the board.

Community Ambulance Service's financial problems surfaced in February, with revelations that it had debts of more than $200,000, including $71,000 that was past due. Fossi and Layman voted in April to have Jeannette EMS as the primary responder for emergency calls.

Supervisor Joe Kerber objected and wanted to give the Community Ambulance Service another six months to resolve its financial problems with the help of the Rostraver/West Newton Emergency Services.

Although Jeannette EMS was to start operating in Sewickley on June 1, that was delayed because the township did not have a base ready.

Fossi said the township “parted amicably” with Jeannette EMS and there was no charge resulting from the breakup. But the township did rent an 8-by-24-foot office trailer from D. Edward Leasing Co. of Windber, at a cost of $125 per month, plus a charge of approximately $800 to set up the trailer and remove it.

In other matters, the supervisors approved an amendment to the zoning ordinance that requires a 5-foot setback from property lines for any accessory structure, such as a swimming pool or shed, in areas zoned for rural residential and village residential.

The ordinance previously required that accessory structures be 30 feet from the front of the property and 15 feet from the rear, said Kathleen Kerber, a zoning board member who attended the meeting.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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