TIFFIN — The Seneca County Fair Board said Monday they may have to cancel some events for the upcoming 2020 fair due to issues with EMS service coverage.
“We are in search of an EMS service to cover, at the very least, our grand stand events. Seneca County’s long time EMS issues and lack of man power does not permit them to provide this service this year,” the board wrote in a Facebook post on the Seneca County Fair page.
EMS services are typically on standby at the fair, particularly for certain events with a higher risk of injury.
According to the board, the lack of an EMS provider is “not simply ‘there won’t be a squad sitting there.’ Without an EMS we are facing the possibility of cancelling some events.”
“If that happens, vendors and concessions will likely back out… This has the potential to cause a snowball effect.”
The post continues, “I would like to clarify that the Seneca County Fair Board has never had any issues with the Seneca County EMS volunteers! We sincerely appreciate that they are more than willing to step up every single year and help keep our fair a safe family event!”
Jimmy Flint, Seneca County Public Relations Coordinator, told TiffinOhio.net that county leadership has determined that the best operational strategy for all county residents is to keep Seneca County EMS personnel stationed at their normal spots in several locations across the county.
Ken Majors, Seneca County Emergency Services Director, wrote in a letter to Fair Board President Bruce Henney that there is a “severe lack of volunteer EMS personnel throughout the county.”
“The letter states that SCEMS is unable to fulfill the request for EMS coverage due to a lack of manpower. Having a squad permanently at the fair would seriously hinder the agency’s ability to provide service to residents all across the county next week,” Flint told TiffinOhio.net. “Also, please understand, that just like every other day of the year, qualified EMS personnel will respond to any calls at the Seneca County Fairgrounds.”
Flint said once a squad is at an event, it is not able to leave and that negatively impacts the flexibility needed to provide ambulance service to residents throughout the county.
“Seneca County EMS depends on the ability to move squads around to cover multiple areas due to a lack of personnel,” Flint said. “The decision was not made lightly, but the commissioners support the leadership team at Seneca County EMS in doing what they deem is best to provide service to all of our citizens.”
Majors wrote in his letter that he suggests the board seek EMS coverage from the City of Tiffin Fire/Rescue division and request a quote for services during the events, or seek coverage from a private EMS provider.
The board is asking anyone who knows of a EMS service that could potentially provide coverage for the fair, scheduled for July 27 through August 2, to reach out to them via Facebook or phone.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include a statement from Jimmy Flint, Seneca County Public Relations Coordinator.