Spotswood council votes down plan to privatize EMS

The Spotswood Borough Council voted down a plan to privatize the EMS unit.

The Spotswood Borough Council voted down a plan to privatize the EMS unit. (2/17/16)

SPOTSWOOD - The fate of the Spotswood EMS unit has been decided – the organization will not be outsourced after all.

All four members of the Spotswood Borough Council voted against an ordinance that would outsource the EMS to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital. Council members say that they heard the emotion and passion of the borough’s residents during a public meeting Wednesday night.

There was a plan to have a contract with the hospital to take over emergency duties for $301,000 as opposed to the budget expense of $506,000 for the Spotswood EMS.

The Spotswood unit currently has 23 paid members. Council President Curt Stollen says that one of the reasons why the borough was considering privatizing the EMS was the potential expense of health care.

"The big trigger on this happening was Jan. 1, with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act regulation,” Stollen says.

Currently, the EMS members are not guaranteed health care if they work less than 31 hours a week.

The debate about whether or not to privatize is not entirely over. The council does plan on putting the topic up for public vote in November.

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