Fitch and Associates Representative Todd Sheridan gave a remote presentation on the results of an Emergency Medical Service Study/Report for Wayne County.
Jim Lee, County EMS Director, opened the presentation with a review of the need for a study on the County’s emergency services system and what improvements are needed; the last review was done 20 years ago.
The County paid $49,200 for this survey. Mr. Lee said he does not want the results of this study sitting on a shelf, but having recommendations for improvements to the system implemented.
He stated the need for more funding and more individuals to participate in local EMS programs. The one problem with results was not all EMS agencies in the County agreed to participate in this survey. This presentation will be made to all EMS agencies beginning next week.
Mr. Sheridan stated that he, along with other Fitch & Associates staff members, had been in Wayne County to conduct this survey; and more recently, had regular phone calls with Jim Lee, Bill Liddle (EMS Coordinator) and others. Both the financial and operational side of current EMS systems were reviewed. Following the system’s review in 1999, Wayne County put their current ALS system into place; no progress had been made on the system since then. Response times have not changed. At this time there are only 13 EMS agencies providing
services within the County; with only seven submitting completed survey forms. Mr. Sheridan reviewed how the County financially subsidizes all EMS operations through space rentals, vehicle usage, personal time and medical reimbursements received for service.
Mr. Sheridan reviewed critical findings of the survey:
System response time has to change, it is nearly 21 minutes at this time.
The County’s 911 system is key to the operation of the EMS system.
The County needs to work with EMS agencies, better communication is needed as to the availability of staff so time is not wasted on call outs. Each EMS unit needs to tell 911 when full response is at a scene.
Many EMS systems are struggling financially and for qualified/active staff. Mr. Sheridan said all agencies should prepare succession plans in case they cannot continue their operation. The County is subsidizing all programs.
EMS agencies are not transparent to the County as they are managed at the local level. Without financial oversight of these systems it is difficult for the County to know the future of their agencies.
Recommendations made in the survey:
The County needs a more active role in how EMS is offered across the community.
Mr. Sheridan said the County should obtain a Certificate of Need for transportation services and should have their 911 Dispatch Center provide a monthly report of activities to the Board.
The County should implement an automatic vehicle device system, so the closest resource can be called upon to increase efficiencies.
The County should dedicate one Medical Director to implement protocols for all systems, to make training and reporting the same with each agency.
There needs to be consistency in the financial assessment of each agency.
The EMS Board Charter should be updated to allow for consistent reporting by all agencies.
Of 52 benchmarks for EMS systems, Wayne County only met five completely. Turn out time averages nearly eight minutes, with arrival time averaging over 20 minutes. Mr. Sheridan said arrival time should be reduced to 15 minutes; this could only be done by increasing the number of EMS units or making changes in current callout protocol.
Action the County can take:
Do nothing, no cost.
Target response time goal report monthly, hire additional County EMS personnel and set additional performance standards.
Make sure every agency has adequate staff to respond.
Develop a county-wide sustainable EMS system
Mr. Groat stated the difficulty in getting volunteers for EMS services and questioned how revenue recovery could be increased for municipalities to improve their service and obtain a Certificate of Need (CON).
Mr. Sheridan noted that due to the large amount of Medicare and Medicaid recipients in Wayne County, funding and revenue recovery back to municipalities is expected to be a small amount. Further, he stated that the County will have to make a decision if they are going to take a more active role in the community EMS system.
Mr. Robusto questioned if any municipalities outsource these services to private agencies. Mr. Sheridan said that a few of the rural areas of the County do not allow for this. Mr. Kolczynski questioned if the survey was accurate, as so few
agencies responded. Mr. Sheridan said that due to the lack of response, the internal benchmarks could be looked into; however, it was the financial part of
the agencies that was difficult to review. Supervisors were requested to direct any questions following their review of this report to Jim Lee at 315-946-5912 or HYPERLINK “mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org” email@example.com
It was agreed that this report would be discussed again at the August Public Safety Committee meeting and that a sub-committee may be formed to decide what action should be taken following this report. Mrs. Leonard requested that she be named to this sub-committee.
Todd Sheridan concluded this report and thanked everyone for this opportunity to make this presentation to the board members this morning.
The next scheduled meeting of the Board will be Monday, August 10, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at the Wayne County Nursing Home Outdoor Pavilion, 1529 Nye Road, Lyons