BEDFORD, Ohio — In the aftermath of University Hospitals' announcement that it will be ending inpatient and emergency services at their Bedford and Richmond medical centers, first responders and residents are expressing concerns about the long-term effects.
“It’s really a blow to the community to have more of our safety taken away from us,” said Chan Coleman, a Bedford resident.
The news of the decision to stop offering inpatient and emergency services at UH Bedford Medical Center spread quickly, although it blindsided those in the community and at city hall.
“Sort of insulted by the fact that we weren’t given more of a heads up...time to plan for this," said Bedford Fire Chief Dave Nagy. The changes are set to take place on August 12.
First responders in Bedford are reliant on having emergency services in the city, understanding it's a luxury. Nagy is not sure what the exact impact will be, but knows it's not good.
"What this does now is, it’s going to take our services," he explained. "It’s going to take our services farther away. It’s going to be Southpoint and Marymount. And that’s where we’re going to focus our transport."
Chief Nagy's biggest fear is slowed response times. But it will cost the city more money to travel further on each call and maintain vehicles that will be driven more often.
And it's not just about emergency services, the changes UH is making has a trickle-down effect.
“We’re going to be losing, it stands to reason, a lot of revenue from the loss of Bedford Hospital,” said Bedford resident Louise Novak.
Novak is not wrong. Although jobs will be transferred to other facilities, Bedford itself loses out on income tax dollars.
Bedford City Manager Mike Mallis said there will be a financial impact. It's unclear just how bad.
Novak added, “We have wonderful city services in this community and I would hate to lose some of that.”
While they are disappointed that certain services will come to an end next month, city leaders say they'll continue to work hard and make adjustments to ensure the community is as safe as possible.