Letter to Residents From The Board Concerning EMS Services Sept. 11, 2019

                    VILLAGE OF EPHRAIM

                                                                            Founded 1853

Dear Friends and Neighbors
 
     As many of you are aware there has been some recent discussion and controversy taking place as it relates to the Ambulance Service that the County of Door provides to its residents and guests.  Primarily this controversy is a result of the County’s consideration and discussion surrounding the following items:
 

  • The possibility of privatizing the EMS service in Door County.  1
  • The possibility of entering into a public/ private partnership to provide EMS service in Door County. 2
  • The possibility of changing the ambulance service from a two Paramedic minimum to a single Paramedic minimum crew- down grading the service. 3
  • The possibility of removal of the County’s EMS personnel. 4

 
    As your locally elected government body, we feel it is in your best interest that we advise you of our role in these discussions.  It is our intent to assure you that EMS services will continue to be delivered in a manner that meets or exceeds what we have all come to expect and depend on.
 
    It should be understood that Wisconsin law places the obligation to provide EMS and Fire protection at the local level (Village, Township or City) and that this obligation can be met through contract or mutual aid type agreements. 5
 
    We understand that the County has the right to review their EMS operations, perform due diligence and consider changes to it as they see fit.  We also understand that the County has no obligation to provide EMS to any or all of the County, 6 however, because they do not have the legal obligation to provide EMS service, they also do not have the right to give it away.  It is the local municipality’s responsibility, and only they can enter into a contract for service to have a third party provide the coverage. 7
 
    Like the County, many of the local municipalities, in cooperation with their Fire Departments and their neighbors have been performing due diligence on the EMS service and the current delivery model.  These discussions and investigations have shown that a county wide EMS service could be provided at and by the local (Village, Town, City) level through cooperative agreements.  This locally controlled EMS service would allow for an EMS department much as it is today, with opportunities for improvements, while maintaining local control, leadership, employment and input, allowing for an even greater working relationship with their local responders.
 
   We believe that your EMS service should be run and managed at the local level without the influence, control or direction of a private entity that is cost and profit driven.  To that end, we like many of our neighboring municipalities, passed a resolution stating those core beliefs. 
 
    It is important for you to know that we take our obligations to provide, and your expectations to receive a top tier EMS response very seriously.  We have no intention of letting the quality we have all come to appreciate and respect for the past 40 years to be diminished.
 
     In an effort to assure that a quality locally controlled EMS service remain in place we are considering several possible avenues including but not limited to:

  • A locally appointed board of directors
  • Require local municipal approval prior to any changes
  • The ability for a local municipality to “opt out”.
  • Full reimbursement of taxes collected if County EMS service is not used.

     We would encourage and look forward to your participation and input in these discussions and intend to keep you informed of any action we take at the local level.
 
 Sincerely,

Village of Ephraim Board of Trustees

M.E. McCutcheon M.D.
President, Ephraim Board of Trustees
 
Reference:

  1.  Approved minutes Door County Administrative Committee Tuesday March 19, 2019
  2. Approved minutes Door County Administrative Committee February 19, 2019
  3. Approved minutes Door County Administrative Committee Tuesday March 19, 2019
  4. Peninsula Pulse March 22, 2019- County considering privatizing EMS Service
  5. Wisconsin state statute 60.565- Ambulance Service
  6. Approved minutes Door County Administrative Committee Tuesday March 19, 2019
  7. Wisconsin state statute 60.565- Ambulance Service