Committee formed to establish an additional EMS facility in Lake County

BALDWIN — On April 8, the Lake County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution to form an adhoc committee to examine the possibility of establishing an EMS facility on the eastern side of Lake County.

There are currently two EMS facilities in Lake County, both located along the M-37 corridor. The commissioners have said many residents have long thought an additional ambulance barn is needed on the eastern side of the county. This is adding to the fact there is no hospital in Lake County and anyone suffering from a medical emergency would have to be driven as far as Ludington to be admitted to an emergency room.

"As people get older, the risks to their health increase, and the median age in Lake County is already 56," said Commissioner Dan Sloan, who will be chairing the committee. "Calls right now can take 20, 30 or even 40 minutes to get people to a hospital. This committee will look at the potential costs, recommendations and locations regarding a new ambulance barn."

The measure brought before the board would establish an Adhoc Committee to study the feasibility of basing an EMS facility on the east side of the County. It was further agreed the Adhoc Committee would have to present a report on its findings to the Lake County Board of Commissioners within 12 months.

The measure was adopted unanimously, although commissioner John Brunn was absent from the meeting.

Sloan will be joined by two other commissioners on the committee. It is planned for Life EMS to have a representative on the committee as well, along with a member of the Sheriff's department and possibly Lake County Central Dispatch.

There is a dedicated millage for EMS service in Lake County, however any further details on money for this project will not be determined until the committee has had time to examine the issue.

Sloan said this is only an exploratory committee, so it is not guaranteed the facility will be built. He did say if it is approved, it would be three to four years before the new building would be ready.