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Advanced Life Support Proposal Has Ended In Vilas County


The proposed increase in paramedic service for advanced life support to cover all of Vilas County has ended in a report to the county board last week indicating the ad hoc paramedic committee voted not to proceed with the concept.

Supervisor Marv Anderson told the board after discussions with municipal fire and emergency medical service groups there was insufficent support at this time to continue with providing enhanced paramedic service in the county.

“Committee members met individually with 14 of 15 municipalites explaining the concept of having two 'fly cars' stationed to provide enhanced service but only had five in support,” Anderson said. “There were five or six not supporting due to the projected cost estimated at $1.5 million each year, not counting start-up costs.”

Anderson noted county corporation counsel Jack Albert provided a non-formal opinion the county did have authority to fund a county-wide system.

He also said there were about 700 emergency calls a year in the county with from 25% to 28% needing to have paramedics involved.

An issue not recognized but one that needs to be is staffing, according to Anderson. He described the training requirements with a 1st responder needing 72 hours of training, 180 hours for an emergency medical technition and 1200 hours for a paramedic costing anywhere from $7,000-$10,000. “Many towns are finding themselves short of staff and have to rely on other towns,” he said, adding “they expect lack of certified staff will only get worse. When the towns support the county getting involved, they will come to the county therefore we are not recommending the county do anything at this point.”

Supervisor Erv Teichmiller summed up the situation indicating “with our aging population the need to respond to provide assistance will become acute when younger persons don't get the training or volunteer.”

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