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Garrett officials request lawmakers to do away with payment to rescue squads

December 8th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

The Cumberland Times News reports that since Garrett County is now offering 24-hour emergency medical services, county commissioners are asking state representatives to do away with a law requiring annual payments to rescue squads. 

"The basic gist of this is we don't want to be mandated to pay that amount of money when we are in excess of that by a lot right now," said Commission Chairman Paul Edwards during a pre-legislative meeting Monday between the county leaders and state representatives. 

The original agreement, which has been in place since 2008, allocates 8 cents per $100 of assessable real property within the county to rescue squads, Edwards said. 


In fiscal year 2015, the county had 10 full-time and six part-time providers. During the fiscal 2017 budgeting process, the county's public safety/emergency services budget was increased by nearly $877,000 to more than $1.5 million. Five additional full time and seven part-time providers have been hired.

"The reason this was implemented to begin with, there was a guarantee they would get their money," said state Sen. George Edwards. "So if you take that out of there, there is no guarantee other than the fact that you guys are saying you are going to fund certain rescue squad activities."

County Administrator Kevin Null worked with the rescue squads on the language for the legislative request.  

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