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Steubenville council approves emergency ambulance contract

STEUBENVILLE — With the launch of the city’s own ambulance service still at least a month away, City Council acted Tuesday to make sure there’s no lapse in emergency protection overnight for the next six days.

Council voted 7-0 on an emergency basis to contract with Wintersville Fire Department to provide the personnel needed to designate one of their ambulances to answer calls in Steubenville daily between the hours of 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. at least through Monday.

The contingency plan is needed because Steubenville’s current provider, Ambulance Service Inc., notified City Manager Jim Mavromatis that, because of temporary staffing issues, they won’t be able to cover the night shift for the next six days.

“We need the manpower,” 5th Ward Councilman Willie Paul, chair of council’s finance committee, said. “I’m not alarmed, but it is reassuring to know we’ll have some kind of coverage.”

The paramedics will be working overtime, so the service will cost the city a little more than $800 for each 12-hour shift they’re needed.

“Wintersville only runs two crews (per shift),” Fire Chief Carlo Capaldi said. “They can put an extra crew on at night, but that’s where they’d have to put two people on overnight (to provide the coverage). If not, they can’t guarantee people would be available to answer (calls in Steubenville).”

Mavromatis said ensuring there’s no gap in coverage is “a necessity.” Paul agreed, saying he’s hopeful they can use CARES Act funds to help offset the cost of the service.

“We think this is the best way to do this, until we can get our (service) up,” he added.

“If ever there was a question if the city should run (its own) ambulances, this situation right here proves it was the right thing to do and the best move for the health and safety of the citizens of Steubenville,” 3rd Ward Councilman Eric Timmons added,

Capaldi said the city’s new ambulances, being paid for via CARES Act funding, should arrive in the next two to three weeks.

In other matters, Councilwoman at large Kimberly Hahn said she’d been contacted by someone who saw a car pull up and dump what appeared to be insecticide into the creek at Beatty Park. The individual who witnessed the suspicious activity took pictures, she said.

“We really want to make it clear to the public that they are not going to misuse a park in any way,” Hahn said. “Most especially, they should not be dumping in any chemicals.”

Council also renewed a lease for parking for M&R employees with Ohio Power. The city will pay about $375 for the parking space.

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