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During a special meeting, Wayne Township officials will vote on the merging of EMS with Indianapolis



Indianapolis, Indiana – A special meeting of Wayne Township is scheduled to discuss and vote on plans to combine the township’s emergency medical services department with Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services.

The special session is set to begin at six o’clock. on January 25 at the West Washington Street location of the Wayne Township Government Center.

The township trustee has also set a public hearing on the planned merger of fire departments on February 22.

According to earlier reports, the government center hosted a board meeting in early January where officials reviewed the two possible mergers, drawing well over forty attendees.

Serving more than 140,000 residents on Indianapolis’ west side, the township’s fire department is now operating at a deficit, according to officials, unless a merger occurs.

“We’re down 2.5 million last year we think we may have balanced it out a bit for 2024,” said Wayne Township Board trustee, Jeb Bardon. “But we’ve balanced it out without giving anybody on the fire department a raise.”

The top two concerns, according to officials, are rising maintenance expenses for multimillion-dollar equipment and firefighter pension payments, which are too high and expected to turn a profit by 2025.

Following the meeting on January 11, a few residents expressed concerns regarding the EMS merger:

“My concern is with the prospect of IEMS coming in and trying to provide paramedic ambulance transport services and being able to maintain a level of service and response that we currently have without a merger,” said one Wayne Township resident.

“We realized that this merger is something we do need to look into. This is something that I do believe we need and I do believe that based on the information provided this would be good for our community,” said a second Wayne Township resident.

Over 10 people spoke regarding the EMS merger, many encouraging the board to not rush into any rapid decisions but Bardon stated if both mergers are authorized, it will put Wayne Township in a better place financially.

Bardon said that the current fire stations would stay open and that all of the township’s response times would either stay the same or get better.

The mergers would have to clear yet another obstacle at the state capitol if authorized.

According to Bardon, the goal of Senate Bill 54 is to give the mayor the authority to decide on future mergers instead of trustees and township boards in Marion County.

A Senate committee is set to consider the bill this week, and it may pass by March.

Before the fire department merger takes effect, which could happen as soon as the end of 2024, it must be approved by the Wayne Township Board, the City-County Council, and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.

According to earlier reports, the council does not need to approve the EMS merger. The election is set for January 25 at 6:00 p.m.


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