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Shaler moves toward forming Shaler Hampton EMS

| Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, 10:18 a.m.
Hampton officials pleased with response times by Shaler Hampton Emergency Medical Services.
Hampton officials pleased with response times by Shaler Hampton Emergency Medical Services.

The Shaler Commissioners on Dec. 12 approved a memorandum of understanding for the formation of the proposed Shaler Hampton Emergency Medical Services.

The measure comes after Hampton EMS unexpectedly ceased providing emergency services as of Nov. 30. In turn, Shaler EMS became the township's preferred provider as of Dec. 1.

“We are forming this after some discussion with Hampton Township. We convinced them that the best way to go is an intergovernmental cooperative agreement,” said Shaler Manager Tim Rogers. “It will not be a formation of authority. It will still be a 501c3 (tax-exempt nonprofit) organization organized under the intergovernmental corporate laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

“Are we using the existing organization and amending its purpose and name, or are we forming a full new 501c3?” Shaler resident Dorothy Petrancosta asked.

Rogers said the entities will form a new 501c3.

Petrancosta asked when the public could review the agreement.

Shaler Township solicitor Harlan Stone explained that the memorandum of understanding was not “a binding commitment,” but a step “contemplating” the intergovernmental cooperation agreement forming the Shaler Hampton EMS. Thereafter, state law dictates that the township advertise the opportunity for the public to comment on the agreement prior to the commissioners voting on the final ordinance. Additionally, Hampton Council on Dec. 13 approved its own memorandum of understanding. The council is scheduled to hold a public hearing Jan. 2 and vote on an ordinance establishing the intergovernmental cooperation agreement with Shaler and Shaler EMS.

Rogers said people also may voice their opinions as the Shaler Hampton EMS board is in development. In a phone call following the meeting, Rogers said the following Shaler representatives will serve on the board: board of commissioners President David Shutter, term expiring Dec. 31, 2020; board of commissioners Vice President William Cross, Dec. 31, 2022; Edward Olszewski, Dec. 31, 2018 and Mary Ellen Benty, Dec. 31, 2020.

Benty's position will initially alternate with a Hampton representative. Hampton will vote on the three additional representatives to add to the board.

Shaler Commissioner James Boyle is acting as Shaler EMS business manager and recused himself from the memorandum of understanding vote. Meanwhile, Rogers said Hampton municipal Manager Christopher Lochner will serve as medical director.

Rogers said he anticipates the new board meeting for the first time in early to mid-January and the commissioners voting on the ordinance in 2018's first quarter.

Erica Cebzanov is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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