Butler County's great daily newspaper

Commissioners' vote split on new EMS radios

June 27, 2018 News Extra

Advertisement | Advertise Here
A comparison of the older handheld radios, left, and the new handheld radios is shown at the Butler County Emergency Services Center in Butler Township on Wednesday.

The county will still pay 75 percent of the $4 million cost for the various radios local emergency responders will use when the new 911 system is up and running, but one commissioner thinks more discussion is necessary regarding whether the county should make the contribution to for-profit services.

The county commissioners voted 2-1 at their Wednesday meeting to pay three-quarters of the cost for the radios, with Kevin Boozel dissenting.

Boozel said the nonprofit ambulance services are struggling to stay afloat while the two for-profit ambulance services, Butler Ambulance Service and Superior EMS in Grove City, charge for their services and could make payments for their radios.

Boozel said no financial hardship was proved by the for-profit services.

Without the county funds, Boozel said, the nonprofit ambulance services would not be able to get the new radios.

“I think it needs to be vetted a little further,” Boozel said.

Kim Geyer said the project to upgrade to a digital 911 system was mandated by the state and that the county is responsible for the safety of the public at large.

“We want to give them the tools they need to provide service to our residents,” Geyer said.

The total cost of the 911 upgrade is about $10 million.

A full story will appear in the Butler Eagle.

Share this article:
Paula Grubbs

Paula Grubbs

Paula Grubbs is a Butler County native who has been with the Butler and Cranberry Eagle newspapers since June 2000. Grubbs has covered the Mars School District and Middlesex Township for over 20 years with the Eagle and her former employer, the Cranberry Journal. She also covers Adams Township, Evans City and Mars in addition to events and incidents throughout Southwestern Butler County as assigned. Grubbs has taken the lead at the Cranberry Eagle in reporting on shale gas development, which has been a hotly debated topic in the recent past, both locally and nationally. A 1979 graduate of Butler Senior High School and a 1994 graduate of Geneva College, Grubbs has won a Golden Quill and four Keystone state awards, plus an award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Grubbs enjoys following the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers, volunteers with the Connoquenessing Creek Cleanup each summer, and loves spending time outdoors and bird watching at her Penn Township home. Grubbs is the daughter of James R. Davis Sr., of Center Township, and the late Maxine Davis. She has two grown children, Jacqueline and Thomas.