2018-10-21 / News

Twin Township Ambulance reducing service in Montrose

By Jeanne Marcello
Staff Reporter

MONTROSE – During the Tuesday, Oct. 16 meeting of the Montrose Township Board, Twin Township Ambulance operations manager Adam Mazur-Baker informed the township board that the ambulance service would be reducing its hours in Montrose.

He explained that instead of 24 hours a day/seven days a week, they would switch to a Monday through Saturday schedule, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. This includes five days of advanced life support services (ALS). Mazur-Baker added, “We always have a truck in New Lothrop.”

Montrose Township Supervisor Mark Emmendorfer responded, “For the last two or three months, there have been times when you didn’t have enough people to man the (Montrose ambulance) base.”

Mazur-Baker said, “The biggest problem is a reduction in staff. We are in the process of trying to hire some additional staff.” He explained that there are fewer students in emergency medical service (EMS) school.

Emmendorfer explained that he understands the situation. But it’s harder for people to realize the ambulance service won’t be there. “I’ve talked with Mobile Medical Response (MMR). They’ve tried to get in.”

Mazur-Baker said, “MMR was parked in front of our garage, so we couldn’t get out.”

Emmendorfer said, “We have had a contract with Twin Township, paying $500 (per month) for the ALS ambulance.” He explained that he wants the township board to look at the contract to see if they want to amend it.

Township clerk Fred Domine said, “I would like to see us stop paying the $500 per month. We’re not getting the coverage we were promised. It was a good faith thing.”

Mazur-Baker said, “In 2010, we had a contract; they didn’t go with the closest truck.” He explained that the county changed the way ambulances are dispatched. Now it goes by closest ambulance. He explained that Twin Township would be coming back from a hospital in Flint, when a call for Montrose would come through, while they were returning to Montrose. Another ambulance service would be closer, so it would be dispatched.

Emmendorfer said, “The further out you become, the worse it is. We’ve certainly enjoyed having you in the community.”

Trustee Gary Keeler said, “They’ve been with us for years, since C & M ambulance left. They still have a presence in our community. The $500 isn’t what it used to be. Personally, if you’re going to maintain a presence here, even a limited presence, I could see paying the $500.”

Mazur-Baker talked about the possibility of turning the Montrose ambulance building into a training facility.

Emmendorfer explained that if the township board could find out exactly what’s going on, they might consider amending the contract.

Emmendorfer said, “Either they’re going to get the call or MMR. You’re never going to have enough ambulances. It’s a numbers game.” He said the five to seven-minute response times will instead be 10 to 15 minutes.

Trustee Dar Eldred said, “You’re cutting hours to 50 percent, plus training. That’s a great presence in the community. I’d go with Gary (Keeler).”

Keeler said, “I think we should leave in the $500.”

Mazur-Baker said they’ve been working on trying to get more staff. After that’s resolved, they’d have more answers.

Domine moved to continue the discussion at the November meeting.

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