By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer
(July 4, 2019) A $319,000 emergency medical services operating grant for fiscal year 2019-20 was approved by the Berlin mayor and Town Council last Monday.
The grant allocation comes as part an agreement for emergency medical services between the Town of Berlin and Berlin Fire Company and Emergency Services Inc.
The Berlin Fire Company and Emergency Medical Services must provide emergency medical services to properties and citizens within town limits from July 1 to June 30, 2020, according to the contract.
The grant funding for emergency medical services was 10 percent less than fiscal year 2018-19, according to the contract.
Berlin’s Fire Company would receive half the emergency medical services grant by July 15, and get the remaining balance “on or before completition of the town-funded emergency medical services corporation audit,” according to the contract.
Among multiple stipulations to receive funding, the Berlin Fire Company and Emergency Medical Services need to adhere to several requirements, including having a dialogue with town officials.
They also must meet with town officials and establish a funding formula for a joint progress report, which is due by Dec. 31, according to the contract.
Officials must also present quarterly reports during the fourth meeting of April, January, July and October Town Council meetings, according to the contract. They also have to attend budget sessions.
The contract also requires Berlin’s Fire Company to submit to an annual audit.
The grant funding allocation also aims to “reestablish an EMS contingency fund,” according to the contract.
The fire company would also need to update its five-year financial plan to include capital expenditures, according to the contract. Submission is due to the Town Council by Dec. 31.
However, the contract also states if there’s a “breach of terms,” town officials have the authority to “suspend or cease” grant payment, and the emergency medical services faction can also stop servicing people within the town limits.
Mayor Gee Williams, fire company President Dave Fitzgerald, Berlin Fire Company board Chairman Joe Sise, and another witness would need to sign the contract for approval.
At last Monday’s council session, Councilman Zack Tyndall moved to approve the funding request for the fire company for the fiscal year 2020. It was approved in a 3-1 vote, with Councilman Thom Gulyas dissenting.
Following the vote, Fitzgerald addressed members and pointed out an “un-expensed line item for the fire and EMS study.” He proposed using funding to replace an ambulance because of recent technical difficulties.
He added one was taken in for service and another broke down a couple of weeks ago, which meant there were several hours where only one ambulance was available.
Fitzgerald asked the mayor and council to consider his proposal.
“We’ll get back to you,” Mayor Gee Williams said.
Councilman Dean Burrell was absent from last Monday’s Town Council meeting.