Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Largo takes first step toward suing Pinellas County over EMS funding

LARGO — Commissioners here voted Tuesday to take the first step toward filing a lawsuit against Pinellas County to stop a proposal to slash funding to the county's emergency medical services system.

Under the motion made by Largo commissioner Harriet Crozier, city staff are to bring back a resolution at the commission's April 15 meeting to start the conflict resolution process with the county. State law requires governments to undergo mediation before filing a lawsuit. The vote was unanimous among the six commission members present. Largo Mayor Pat Gerard was not at the meeting.

The county has proposed cutting about $2.3 million over the next three years from the approximately $40 million collected from a countywide property tax that goes to pay for part of the $116 million EMS system.

The cuts would come from the five busiest departments in the county — Largo, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Pinellas Park and Lealman. In addition, the county would freeze payments to all 18 fire departments that provide first responder EMS service for those three years. For the seven years after that, the county would cap the amount by which EMS budgets could increase.

Representatives from Largo, Lealman, Pinellas Park and St. Petersburg say the proposed cuts will take firefighter-paramedics off the streets and result in longer response times and reduced services for both EMS and fire calls.

Largo may not be alone in taking legal action against the county. Elected representatives from St. Petersburg, Pinellas Park and the unincorporated Lealman area have said they, too, are willing to go to court if the county refuses to negotiate.

Largo takes first step toward suing Pinellas County over EMS funding 04/01/14 [Last modified: Friday, April 4, 2014 6:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Romano: Sewage is the issue in this mayoral race

    Local Government

    Well, poop.

    Nothing else really matters, does it?

    Schools, economic development, public safety? Pfft. The Rays stadium, affordable housing, the Pier? Ack. When it comes to the St. Petersburg mayoral election, sewage is the yin, the yang and the yuck.

    During the St. Petersburg sewage crisis, the city's ancient sewer system released about 200 million gallons of sewage into local watersways, spurring state and federal investigations and becoming a focal point of debate among the leading mayoral candidates. [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  2. Shooting sends man to hospital in St. Pete


    ST. PETERSBURG — Police were investigating a shooting that occurred around 4:40 p.m. on Tuesday and sent a man to the hospital.

  3. Police: Man tries to lure child with puppy in Polk County


    Times staff

    HAINES CITY — A man was arrested Sunday after he tried to entice a young girl into his camper to view a puppy, according to police.

    Dale Collins, 63, faces a charge of luring or enticing a child under the age of 12. [Photo courtesy of the Polk County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Scaramucci on leaks: 'I'm going to fire everybody'


    WASHINGTON — Anthony Scaramucci, President Donald Trump's new communications director, vowed Tuesday to purge the White House staff of disloyal aides in an effort to crack down on leaks, as another member of the press staff resigned from a West Wing reeling from an unfolding shake-up.

  5. Editorial: Coming together to reduce car thefts


    The simple, knee-jerk response to the juvenile car theft epidemic in Pinellas County would be to crack down on offenders with an increased police presence and stiffer sentences. Thankfully, local community leaders did not stop there. As detailed in a recent Tampa Bay Times follow-up to its 
As detailed in a recent Tampa Bay Times follow-up to its "Hot Wheels" investigation into youth car thefts, a variety of ideas from multiple directions increases the odds of actually solving the cause and not just treating the symptoms.