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. New 6.2 magnitude earthquake centered in southern Mexico


    MEXICO CITY — The U.S. Geological Survey says the new earthquake to strike Mexico had a magnitude of 6.2 and was centered in the southern state of Oaxaca.

  2. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018


    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    Catcher Wilson Ramos connects for a two-run single in the fifth inning against the Cubs on Sept. 20, 2017.
  3. Buccaneers-Vikings Scouting Report: Watching Kyle Rudolph, Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen


    No matter how much film we study, no matter how much data we parse, we just don't know how an NFL season will unfold.

    Four of tight end Kyle Rudolph's seven catches this season have come on third down, including this 15-yard touchdown in the Vikings' opener against the Saints. [Getty Images]
  4. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  5. Sue Carlton: Job or family when a hurricane's coming — a very Florida conundrum


    It must seem as foreign to Northerners as shoveling snow is to those of us raised in the Sunshine State: The very-Florida conundrum of having to choose between work and family — between paycheck and personal safety — when a hurricane comes.

    A hurricane helps the rest of us acknowledge the police officers, paramedics, hospital personnel, public works employees and others who stay on the job despite the storm.