The Presque Isle Township is launching a new ambulance service to serve its residents. The department has provided medical first response service since 2016 but now can offer more. Bill Forbush, fire chief of the Presque Isle Township Fire Department said, “And now we’re upgrading to basic life support ambulance service and that will reduce ambulance response times in the area by about half, so we’ll get there twice as fast, that’s the hope. And it’ll also allow us to provide it as a community service with very little or no cost to the patients.”
This is all thanks to a used vehicle from Missaukee County purchased using existing fire department special assessment funds. No new millages or taxes were placed for this upgrade. “When we upgraded from MFR, Medical First Response, to basic life support we now carry five medications that can be used in emergencies to help people, we got advanced airway tools we didn’t have before,” said Forbush. “We have supraglottic airways, CPAP, those kinds of things. We got a really nice stretcher system that will help us to move people safely and comfortably, and we’ll be able to be there very quickly, so we’re excited about all of those things.”
Federal regulation also prohibits Presque Isle Township residents from being charged for these services as they already pay taxes for them. “They’re called a subscriber,” said Forbush, “So that means if they call 911, and we come out to assist them, they will never receive a bill. Their insurance will, but they won’t—and that’s a big deal. We also don’t charge for lift assist; we don’t charge for treat no transport, patient refused, any of those kinds of things. So it’s really going to be a value to our residents, and we’re excited about that.”
The new ambulance will officially begin service next Monday at 4PM.