TIFFIN — Just hours after the Seneca County Fair Board announced in a Facebook post Monday that they may have had to cancel some events for the upcoming 2020 fair due to issues with EMS service coverage, Sycamore EMS has stepped up to provide that 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 post on the Seneca County Fair page.
The fair was at risk of having to cancel some events due to the lack of EMS coverage, which would have likely caused a “snowball effect” in which vendors and concessions backed out, the board said in the Facebook post.
At 9 p.m. Monday, the board updated its post with the announcement that Sycamore EMS would provide service at this year’s fair.
EMS services are typically on standby at the fair, particularly for certain events with a higher risk of injury. This year, Seneca County EMS, which typically provides service coverage to the fair, is not able to do so due to a shortage of volunteer EMS personnel.
Back in June, 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.”
“Seneca County EMS in unable to fulfill the request for EMS coverage at the events listed due to severe lack of volunteer EMS personnel throughout the county, and having multiple ambulances in several locations out of service due to lack of manpower,” Majors wrote. “We cannot pull coverage from a local village or township to standby at the fairgrounds.”
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.
“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.”
The 2020 Seneca County Fair is scheduled to run July 27 through August 2. The fair board announced Tuesday that the price of daily admission tickets has been reduced to $5 for this year’s fair.