Without much fuss, Northwood City Council Wednesday unanimously approved a $4.45 million budget for 2012 that beefed up the city’s emergency response service.
Council voted to allocate about $80,000 to the general fund from its capital replacement fund to help cover the fire department’s $584,000 budget next year.
For several weeks, city officials had debated whether to spend the additional $139,222 next year to staff the city’s ambulance service 24 hours, seven days a week.
Currently, two emergency responders only work 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and the city relied on volunteers or other municipalities for mutual aid.
Some had questioned whether the city could afford the cost while others said it was crucial to provide better care for residents with faster emergency response times. In September, a Northwood woman sued several city employees in Wood County Common Pleas Court after her husband died on March 3 waiting for help to arrive. The lawsuit is pending.