Genoa Township trustees are considering a request for township representatives to meet in private with Delaware County officials to discuss a dispute over a planned county emergency medical services station in the township.

Genoa Township trustees are considering a request for township representatives to meet in private with Delaware County officials to discuss a dispute over a planned county emergency medical services station in the township.

Genoa trustees oppose the plan, saying it would duplicate EMS services provided by the township.

Genoa Township administrator Paul Wise said trustees "really want to discuss the issue in an open public meeting."

If the meeting is held, he said, it would include himself, county administrator Tim Hensley, trustee chair Rick Carfagna, and commission president Dennis Stapleton.

The trustees on Aug. 19 voted to oppose the county's plan to renovate a building at 7177 Northgate Way near Westerville to house the county Medic 7 station.

The trustees also said they want to form an agreement with the commissioners, in which the county EMS service is removed from the township, because the township emergency personnel provide adequate service to taxpayers.

"We could be running things a lot more efficiently," Carfagna said. "There's a need to modernize the system of operations."

Trustees would rather the county put their EMS stations in areas of the county that are underserved or on the east side of Hoover Reservoir, where EMS response times can be as long as 15 minutes, Carfagna said.

Genoa officials want the county to make payments to the township in lieu of services. Similar arrangements are in place with Liberty Township and the city of Delaware, which don't have county EMS service, Carfagna said.

Trustee Barbara Lewis and township fire chief Gary Honeycutt have discussed the issue with the county for a number of years, she said, and the county has rejected the proposal.

Carfagna said he and trustee Karl Gebhardt spoke to the commissioners on Aug. 8 about the "duplicative level of EMS service" in the township.

At that meeting, commissioners said payments are made to Delaware and Liberty Township because those services predate formation of the county EMS. Genoa's does not, they said.

The county's Medic 7 unit was housed in the township's 7049 Big Walnut Road station until last year.

The township added three crew members per shift and needed the space occupied by the county crew.

Hensley said the county's EMS serves a vital role.

He said it ensures EMS service is available if Genoa Township crews are fighting a fire or handling an EMS run.

"It doesn't happen every day, but it happens a couple times a week," Hansley said.

Lewis said the state has asked local governments to consolidate services and eliminate duplication of services to become more fiscally efficient.

Gebhardt said "modernizing a system set up 40 years ago makes sense."

He said the township should hold public meetings to discuss the issue.