First responders call for unified system, more funding


Emergency Medical Services employees filled the room as EMS Coordinator Gary Hoffman along with other shared the needs of better benefits and more funding for EMS officials within Washington County.

Currently, there are eight different EMS departments including Smithsburg, Maryland and Halfway, Maryland.

The goal of EMS is to merge each of these eight companies together as one.

“We need funding from the county commissioners and the ability to move everybody into county employees in order to do that one system approach,” Hoffman said.

Kelli Morgan has served Sharpsburg EMS for eleven years and believes it’s time for some economic improvements.

“We put band-aids on people but we need something more than a band-aid now for this problem, we need to fix it and we need to do it the right way the first time,” Morgan said, who is also a paramedic.

According to Hoffman an additional $1 million has been included in the proposed budget to fund EMS.

During the presentation, first responders noted that there’s limited staffing throughout the county. Because of this, EMS has had to manage calling in other departments for efficient rescue efforts.

County Commissioner Randall Wagner said he hopes to see even more EMS officials during the budget hearing on May 14.

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