Ohio ambulance service seeks $3M levy to increase staffing
Revenue from the levy will help the Northwest Ambulance District hire six more EMS personnel
By Warren Dillaway
HARPERSFIELD, Ohio — Changes brought about by COVID-19 and other societal challenges have led the Northwest Ambulance District to seek an additional 3-mill levy to add staff, said NAD Administrator Vince Gildone.
“The goal of the levy is to bring on a second crew,” Gildone said.
The revenue generated by the levy, he said, would provide enough money to hire another six employees to handle the increased activity.
Gildone said the levy would replace two previous levies that would go off the books if this one passes. He said the levy would cost about $2 per homeowner per month for a home evaluated at $100,000.
“We have over 3,500 calls [in a year] and we can no longer handle that,” he said.
Gildone said the new hires would allow NAD to be staffed with four people, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
"[We need] two crews around the clock,” he said.
The societal changes include people seeing paramedic work as a stepping stone to another profession, not a lifetime career, Gildone said.
NAD covers Geneva, Geneva Township, Austinburg Township, Harpersfield Township and Trumbull Township. The operation started in 1975 under the direction of the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office.
Gildone said there aren’t enough part-time people to fill needed shifts for sick time and vacations. He said there will still be a place for part-time workers.
“It is hard to get, and keep, part-time people,” Gildone said. He said people can get paid as much at a fast food restaurant without the stress of dealing with challenging medical situations, including life-and-death incidents.
“These were once coveted jobs and they were for life,” Gildone said.
But now many people are moving on to become nurses, nurse practitioners and other professionals in the health field.