2011-08-18 / Front Page

Consolidating not beneficial, Gerrish EMS chief tells Higgins

During a special meeting held Aug. 15, Gerrish Township was unable to produce proposals that would help Higgins Township in its quest to find a more feasible way to run its emergency medical services department.

Gerrish Township Fire/EMS Chief John Patchin said he understood Higgins Township’s want to be able to “get more for less” because sharing services is more economical. He added consolidating services “doesn’t appear to be beneficial” to the Gerrish Township EMS staff or the township’s citizens.

“We don’t want to burden the residents of Gerrish Township with additional costs,” Patchin said.

Patchin told the Higgins Township board that an additional emergency response vehicle would have to be staffed to meet the demands of serving both townships. Gerrish Township Fire/EMS Assistant Chief Jim Lippert said adding another car would put strain on other entities.

“If anyone adds another ALS car, it’s going to be tight for everybody,” Lippert said. “We really could not come up with anything that would benefit.”

Lippert said with the number of calls fielded by both townships, consolidation would not be reasonable as Higgins Township receives more calls than Gerrish Township does.

Patchin commended Higgins Township for its already diligent emergency response services.

“It doesn’t appear that your residents are lacking medical care,” Lippert said.

Higgins Township Clerk Terry Morley agreed with Lippert and said the reason to look into consolidating services is to help the township save money and to keep up with the ever changing medical field.

“We want to explore every possible avenue and then if it still isn’t to our benefit then we will just stay where we are,” Morley said.

Morley thanked Gerrish for their honesty when telling the Higgins Township board there was not a feasible option for consolidation.

The next Higgins Township board meeting will be held Sept. 12 at 7 p.m.

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