Administrator Expresses Concern Over Countywide Dispatch Services

By Leah Williams

The Washington County Board learned about concerns that some administrators had regarding dispatched services throughout the county during its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, October 8.

Washington County Ambulance Services Administrator John Felchilia provided a verbal report to the board, where he addressed concerns he has with …

“Since August I have witnessed and personally encountered several more issues where dispatch has failed miserably to the point where agency leaders from various departments have had to be requested and corrected,” he said.

Board Chairman Dave Meyer stopped Felchilia and asked him where he was going with his report, and Felchilia replied that he believed what he had to say directly impacts the ambulance services.

After Felchilia brought up a few points in his discussion, Meyer interrupted again and stated that the protocol is to bring up the concerns during the ambulance committee meeting. Felchilia said he had previously tried that avenue.

“Since then it has continued to happen It is not getting any better We have had delays in our response that affects the citizens we serve and it is ultimately going to affect our departments as a whole,” he said. “I am here and I will continue to be here every month to report these issues until we get something done.”

Felchilia said he believes the county needs an administrator to oversee the dispatch department and ensure the position does not change following election years.

“I would suggest that the supervisor position once again be a serious discussion,” he said. “I would suggest an interdepartmental agreement between the Washington County 911 and the County Board for a non-biased political position.”

In other county news, Highway Engineer Kiefer Heiman stated that the Jimtown Road Bridge is slated to be on the November state letting with construction to begin later in the spring.

State’s Attorney Dan Bronke said he “had never seen” the general fund dip as low as it had in September. He said the ending balance was $490.50 with typical ranges between $700 and $1,000.

Animal Control Warden Deb Hagopian said that from January 1 to August, the shelter has brought in 156 dogs, with 69 considered owner surrender, 78 strays, and one dog who had nine puppies, for a total of 169. Of those numbers, there were 69 adopted, 50 claimed, 46 sent to rescues and four that either died or had to be euthanized.

The Washington County Animal Control has had a busy year as far as cats are concerned, with a total of 244 felines brought in. There were 83 owner surrendered and 143 strays. The total includes 44 adopted, zero claimed, 189 sent to rescues and eight that died or had to be euthanized.

The tentative proposed budget for Washington County is now on display. It can be reviewed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the county courthouse. A public hearing is set for Tuesday, November 12, at 6:30 p.m. in the county board room. Final approval is expected to take place following the hearing during a regular board meeting at 7 p.m.

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