WASHINGTONVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – The village of Washingtonville sits in both Columbiana and Mahoning counties, which is causing problems with getting emergency medical services in a timely manner.
Agencies are servicing calls outside their jurisdictions or not even receiving calls for help.
“She called back 20 minutes later and they said, ‘We can’t get anybody there, there’s nobody on duty,'” said Washingtonville Mayor Herman Frank.
That is what a 911 dispatcher told Frank’s wife back in November when he suffered a medical emergency. Eventually, a private ambulance needed to be called to take the mayor to a hospital.
This is a problem Washingtonville has been dealing with because it straddles two counties.
“We’re split by Route 14, so one side of the road is Columbiana County and the other side is Mahoning County. So it causes problems on dispatching telephone calls and 911 calls,” said Green Township Fire Chief Todd Baird.
A cell phone could register on a tower and send a 911 call to a different county and delay the arrival of medical help.
According to Frank, the dispatchers in Mahoning and Columbiana counties don’t coordinate well.
“A lack of communication. You can’t communicate with them because 911 apparently is not that great,” he said.
Even though Green Township trustees have said they are servicing too many calls south of the county line, both agencies are willing to sit down and come to a new shared services agreement.
“Two fire departments responding to the village of Washingtonville, they’re going to be covered much better and protected much better and it just works out for everybody,” said Leetonia Assistant Fire Chief Jason Hephner.
The final solution may not be in the hands of Leetonia or Green Township.
Both fire chiefs are willing to serve Washingtonville and for now, suggest residents call each respective dispatcher for faster response times.
Mayor Frank says his village should get help more easily.
“The right thing would be a one number call. Call a number and get an ambulance. I don’t care whether it’s Leetonia or whether it’s Green, get an ambulance,” he said.