County Commissioners have arranged a meeting between the two emergency medical service providers in Doddridge County in hopes of straddling a divide that has exsisted since 2008. Commissioner Greg Robinson asked both parties to talk at a public meeting to be held at the WVU Extension Office Conference Room (the Old Saint Patricks Center) on Wednesday, September 25th at 7pm. Both seemed open to the idea of blending the two entities to better serve the community.
At Tuesdays county commissioner meeting, several questions were asked regarding the proposed merger. Some technical in nature regarding state issues certificates of need, others about having the books opened on both parties for review and questions on the standards to be set by the new merged board of directors.
Not much can be said regarding the proposed merge. Harrison County EMS Director Rick Rock has spoken before the commission and privately to the county commissioners. Mr. Rock was retained to provide consulting services as the county moves toward the merge. Mr. Rock stated that no fee would be charged for his services in this matter.
Commissioner Robinson cited the past attempts to consolidate services as missing one factor, asking everyone to sit down and talk.
Mr. Rock will make his presentation to the two boards and they will discuss the proposition placed on the table. Mr. Robinson noted that this is not going to happen overnight and there will need to be compromise on both sides for this to work. Understanding that neither party will get everything they want should be a big step toward finding common ground.
Commissioner Williams noted during the meeting that “I worry about the Ambulance Authority being destroyed.” The task of creating an ambulance authority fell on previous commissioners shoulders and her concern comes from all of the hard work and effort put in by previous commission. In an interview she said “I would hate to see that all destroyed. A lot of people worked very hard to fix the problems we faced.”
The public is encouraged to attend this meeting to ask questions and hopefully eleviate concerns they might see in the merge.