Fire department in Morgan County no longer allowed to conduct medical runs

HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Ind. - Neighbors in Morgan County say they have concerns about receiving timely medical attention after the Harrison Township Volunteer Fire department was informed they could no longer be dispatched on medical runs.

According to the director of Morgan County EMS, the issues started back in February when their department, which has only been active since last fall, was conducting audits of local departments they could work with at a scene.

That’s when they say they found out that the Harrison Township Volunteer Fire Department wasn’t certified to be an EMS provider.

The county then allowed Harrison Township a grace period in which to secure certification but says no attempts were made.

In a statement the Morgan County Board of Commissioners said: “The Morgan County Board of Commissioners received confirmation yesterday from the state EMS Commission, a division of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, that the Harrison Township Fire District is not certified as an emergency medical services provider, and that no application was on file with the State to pursue such certification.”

Going further, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s EMS Commission also found that Harrison Township hadn’t held a certification in the last 15 years.

Due to liability concerns commissioners made the decision to stop dispatching, from the county dispatch center, Harrison Township to medical calls.

Harrison township is a small department and only performed around 70 medical runs in all of 2017. However, residents in their coverage area now say they’re now concerned about medical help arriving on time

“It’s nice to know that you have a backup, but when it’s this close to you if you’re having a heart attack or a stroke you would like to have the closest help that’s out there,” Claudette Hankins said.

Harrison Township will not be without coverage, neighboring departments including Morgan County and White River will cover their medical runs. In the meantime, Harrison Township FD can still conduct fire service runs.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security says it has been working with the fire department to address certification issues.