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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

State Sen. Jack Latvala sets first meeting for EMS committee



CLEARWATER -- State Sen. Jack Latvala has scheduled the first meeting of a committee to appoint an accountant to study proposed changes to Pinellas County's emergency medical services system.

The meeting is set for 10:30 a.m. Thursday (Dec. 22) at the St. Petersburg College Epicenter, 13805 58th St. N, Largo.

Latvala and other members of the county's Legislative Delegation voted last month to set up the committee as a way to come to some understanding of the financial impact of two proposals to change the EMS system. One plan, put forward by Pinellas County Administrator Bob LaSala, would change the funding formula the county uses to disperse EMS property tax revenues among the 18 fire districts that provide EMS. The other plan, created by two firefighters, Scott Sanford and Jim Millican, proposes to save money by having firefighter/paramedics take patients to the hospital.

Latvala included in his announcement the full text of the motion delegation members adopted on Nov. 30:

"1. That a committee be created with equal representation of the cities and fire service, and the county and Paramedics Plus (the Texas-based, for-profit company that contracts with Pinellas to provide ambulance service).
"2. By Jan. 1, 2012, the members of the committee will agree on a chairman and then select a nationally recognized accounting firm that will operationalize, analyze and compare costs of the three variations of EMS service for Pinellas County: the current EMS system in place in Pinellas County, the system as proposed in the IPS plan, and the Sanford-Millican proposal for fire-based transport.
"3. The county will pay for the costs of the accounting services from EMS funding.
"4. In the interim until completion of the analysis, the parties agree to a delay in implementation of the (LaSala) plan and a moratorium on any legal action by all parties concerning the EMS transport issue.
"5. The report by the accounting firm should be completed and available to the delegation by July 1, 2012."
-- Anne Lindberg, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Monday, December 19, 2011 12:01pm]


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