|"Ambulance service will continue in Calhoun County," said commissioner Kevin Helmick, after MHHS said they could no longer financially fund the service, and a contract provider defaulted.|
Numerous efforts to obtain a private provider have failed, but
Helmick said, "We have created a new ambulance board and have successfully got a loan for the board from Calhoun banks. The money will be used for initial operating expenses until revenue starts coming in."
The new organization could take a few months to get fully operational because of licensing.
Although there would be times when a second emergency ambulance would be needed, there will be reliance on neighboring counties for assistance.
"It has been a struggle, with little finances, to provide an ambulance service to the county," said commission president Ch[p Westfall, the emergency levy money not being increased for about 25 years.
OES/911 Director Julie Sears, said because of "lack of finances, the county will, at times, have to rely on regional counties for an ambulance."
Sears said that national studies say one emergency ambulance is needed for every 20,000 in population.
It is likely that Calhoun voters will be asked in May to increase the Emergency Services Levy, not seeing an increase in about 25 years.