ALGER COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) – The Alger County Sheriff’s Office is asking for support on a new ambulance millage for the upcoming election on March 10.
Alger County has operated under the same millage amount for 40 years. The current millage is at 1.0 and is asking for a .85 increase. Many advancements have been made over time due to an increased call volume.
The new millage proposal includes an Advanced Life Support Service, adding four transporting ambulances county-wide, and 2 non-transporting ambulances.
Alger County ambulances have been operating as an Advanced Life Support service since 2008. Advanced Life Support allows for continuous cardiac monitoring, advanced airways, IV medications, and allows transport to high level of care.
County Sheriff Todd Brock stated that the total costs for Alger County EMS have greatly increased over the years. The Advanced Life Support service cannot operate under the current millage and has had to cut shifts and limit staffing due to lack of funds.
“We don’t want to take a step back in Alger County,” said Brock. “If we didn’t get the increase in the millage and things didn’t change, we would be looking to go back to Basic Life Support and that is not a step we want to take. That life support saves lives.”
An increased millage would also allow the county to hire one full-time paramedic and 2-full time EMTs. This would staff one paramedic and one EMT at the ambulance garage, and to allow a faster response time when dispatched. Currently, one paramedic stays at the ambulance garage and waits about 10 minutes for an EMT to arrive.
The millage also funds Rescue 21, a rescue team that offers services in car and snowmobile extrications, marine emergencies, ice rescues, search and rescue, and dive team.