Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas EMS scene has legislators, St. Petersburg talking with county

ST. PETERSBURG — The solution to the issues facing the county's emergency medical services system should come locally, but failing that, some Pinellas legislators say they are willing to act.

"Everybody's got to give a little bit on this issue or something dramatic's going to happen," state Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, said Thursday. His comment came as the delegation withheld a decision on two opposing EMS bills.

One would give the county the right to determine levels of EMS service in the 18 fire districts that supply it. The other would force the county to allow firefighters to take patients to the hospital by eliminating the private ambulance service that currently transports them.

The delegation plans to meet with the County Commission to discuss the EMS issue. After that, delegation members will decide whether to ask the Legislature to pass one of the bills, draft a different bill, or leave things unchanged.

Latvala's comments came just days before the County Commission is scheduled to meet with the St. Petersburg City Council to discuss EMS issues. A proposal by County Administrator Bob LaSala to change the funding formula would lower the county's payment to St. Petersburg by about $7 million to $5 million for providing EMS service.

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster told delegation members that his city is willing to negotiate during Monday's meeting.

"Fittingly (we meet) on Halloween to try to hammer out some type of solution," Foster said.

But the county apparently does not see Monday's meeting as a negotiation. In an e-mail to cities last week, County Commission Chairwoman Susan Latvala wrote:

"This meeting is not intended as a mediation session or negotiation of a separate agreement with the city of St. Petersburg on emergency medical services. Our board is committed to a consistent and uniform application of any changes."

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. and end late in the afternoon at the Collaborative Lab at St. Petersburg College, 13805 58th St. N, Largo. The meeting is open to the public for observation.

Reach Anne Lindberg at or (727) 893-8450.

Pinellas EMS scene has legislators, St. Petersburg talking with county 10/29/11 [Last modified: Saturday, October 29, 2011 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Triad Retail Media names Sherry Smith as CEO


    ST. PETERSBURG — Triad Retail Media, a St. Petersburg based digital ads company, announced that Sherry Smith is taking over as CEO. She replaces Roger Berdusco, who is "leaving the company to pursue new opportunities," a Monday release said.

    Triad Retail Media on Monday announced Sherry Smith, currently global chief customer officer at Triad, as its new CEO. Pictured is outgoing Triad CEO Roger Berdusco. | [Courtesy of Triad Retail Media]
  2. What to watch this week: Fall TV kicks off with 'Will & Grace,' 'Young Sheldon,' return of 'This Is Us'


    September temperatures are still creeping into the 90s, but fall officially started a few days ago. And with that designation comes the avalanche of new and returning TV shows. The Big Bang Theory fans get a double dose of Sheldon Cooper's nerdisms with the return of the titular series for an eleventh season and …

    Sean Hayes, Debra Messing and Megan Mullally in Will & Grace.
  3. Eight refueling jets from Arkansas, 250 people heading to new home at MacDill


    TAMPA — The number of KC-135 refueling jets at MacDill Air Force Base will grow from 18 to 24 with the return of a squadron that once called Tampa home.

    A KC-135 Stratotanker, a military aerial refueling jet, undergoes maintenance at MacDill Air Force Base. The planes, many flying since the late 1950s, are now being flown more than twice as much as scheduled because of ongoing foreign conflicts. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Bucs couldn't connect on or stop deep passes in loss to Vikings


    If two things were established as storylines entering Sunday's Bucs-Vikings game, it was that Tampa Bay was still struggling to establish the deep passes that were missing from its offense last year, and that …

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) gets into the end zone for a long touchdown reception as Bucs free safety Chris Conte (23) cannot stop him during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Who is Alejandro Villanueva? The Steelers player and Army veteran who stood alone now has the NFL's top-selling jersey


    CHICAGO — When the national anthem started at Soldier Field on Sunday, the visiting sideline was mostly empty. The most prominent evidence of the Pittsburgh Steelers was offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger, standing all by himself near the tunnel, holding his right hand over his heart.

    Alejandro Villanueva stands alone during the national anthem at Soldier Field in Chicago. [Associated Press]