Government Council discusses EMS, clean future | News, Sports, Jobs
Part of understanding county fire systems and emergency medical services is understanding where the gaps and challenges lie.
To date, this discussion has really focused on the personal side of the operation.
But a three-county EMS study that Warren is a part of along with Crawford and Erie examines little more than this piece of the puzzle.
Paul Pascuzzi, chairman of the Government Council fire services committee, told the COG that the two peer consultants are asking for information about the Allegheny National Forest and how much area each service can respond to in five minutes.
“(There is) a fair amount of white space our firefighters can’t get to in five minutes,” he said. “It turns out that these are state game lands… the Allegheny National Forest (and) places in and around Tidioute.
“Tidioute has a very large area that they cover (but) don’t necessarily reach it within five minutes.”
With the material in hand, the study will move forward.
“They have all the information they need” Pascuzzi said.
COG REFLEX ON THE FUTURE
After two months of strategic planning initiatives, the COG has identified a series of priorities where it should devote its time.
Some of these initiatives – EMS, reassessment education, lobbying the legislature – can have a profound impact on this county.
The COG has been an informal entity since its creation in the 1990s. But the stakes are high. And participation is late.
“We really need to think seriously and I am thinking of moving to the formalization of this organization by means of an ordinance”, COG consultant Alan Kugler said: “so that he becomes more than all of us.”
He suggested that without this next step, the organization would not exist.
The group of elected officials who met on Wednesday spent time reviewing possible statutes.
“He survived all these years”, Sugar Grove Borough Mayor Pete Allenson said. “Who else is going to take over? We need to recruit people?
“I think we should be trained as elected officials”, Clarendon Borough Council chairman Paul Pascuzzi said, with city delegates appointed by each government entity coming in to vote.
“It’s a value proposition”, he added, noting that the decisions taken by the COG do not “Hold weight”.
He recommended that the group review the draft regulation and come to the next meeting ready to discuss it.
“I think the ‘stay as it is’ approach is really dangerous”, Kugler said. “There could be no future tomorrow for this organization.
County planner Dan Glotz said that although there are 20 out of 27 possible municipalities that are members of the COG, only about 10 attend meetings, suggesting that there is a difference between being a member and being a contributing member.
“We don’t do a very good job of recruiting people to come to our meeting” Pascuzzi said, detailing the value of COG in keeping in touch with organizations such as the ANF and the Visitors Bureau, the Fire Department Committee and the County’s dilapidated process.
Kugler suggested that the need for the COG to take action is directly related to the health of the community.
“This community has been on a spiral now probably since 1960, probably more rapidly lately”, he said. “We have a responsibility” develop intergovernmental ties for future generations. “This is why we are here.”
“We haven’t taken a proactive approach to finding ways… it’s a great place to live, a beautiful place” Pascuzzi said. “Everyone should want to live here. We have to find a way to stop this… population and this brain drain…. “
Kugler suggested that Warren’s COG is the only one not officially organized.
“These are not statutes”, he said. “It’s about the future of the community.
Glotz said that a formal structure would allow municipalities to speak with one voice while preserving their own individuality.
“What is good is that we are having the conversation” said Troy Clawson, city councilor for the borough of Youngsville.