ELY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJMN) – Leaders from five townships in western Marquette County came together on Friday to sign final Articles of Incorporation for a collaboration to improve EMS services in rural areas.

Ely, Tilden, Humboldt, Champion, and Republic Townships each previously had its own first responder team. Due to a lack of volunteers, some of those services had to close.

Jeremy Laakso, Ely Township Supervisor said, “We now made it easier to be part of a team. Even if Humboldt Township, for example has two responders, they are a part of this team. Now they can legally operate in other townships.”

Laakso hopes that more people take an interest in become a EMT or first responder. When asked the kind of people they are looking for he said, “Somebody that wants to help your neighbor, your family, your friends.”

There is an EMS and fire recruitment event on Friday, May 20 at Ely Township Hall from 6 to 8 p.m. Any one over the age of 18 that wants to help out in the community is welcome.

Allison LeSage, Ely Township First Responder Coordinator said, “It’s very rewarding. Meeting someone in the public that you just helped out at an emergency that finds you afterwards and thanks you for helping them or their family member is a very rewarding feeling.”

Michigamme EMS is hosting an open house on June 25, 2022 at the Michigamme Fire Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., which is also another EMS recruiting event.