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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Split EMS advisory group says Pinellas County should continue priority dispatch roll out



LARGO -- The question of funding is only one of several battles being waged over Pinellas County's emergency medical services system.

One of the other hot conflicts centers on priority dispatch, a method of getting the appropriate equipment and manpower to a sick or injured person. Members of the Pinellas County Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council spent a great part of their meeting Thursday debating the issue.

The conclusion: All agreeed that the concept of priority dispatch is good.

But fire chiefs and other fire officials say the way Pinellas County plans to apply the concept is backwards and will reduce the service patients now receive without saving much money. In addition, they say the county has changed its blueprint for priority dispatch from what Pinellas officials promised a couple of years ago.

 They asked other EMSAC members to pass a resolution asking the County Commission to hold off on further implementation until the parties could agree on what the Pinellas EMS system will look like in the future and until they could all agree on how priority dispatch should work within that new framework. But the chiefs were outvoted 7-4, so no recommendation will go to the commission and the implementation is expected to continue.

-- Anne Lindberg, Times Staff Writer



[Last modified: Friday, December 9, 2011 4:32pm]


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