The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Ambulance questions arise at Ironwood session


October 19, 2018


Ironwood — Thursday night’s informational meeting on the one-mill November Gogebic County ambulance proposal was short on participants, but long on participation.

Five members of the public attended the session at the Memorial Building, listening to ambulance committee members Jim Lorenson and Jim Loeper.

Former ambulance employee Ken Jacobson said the Gogebic Range has been fortunate over the years to have advanced life support coverage, rather than just a basic ambulance service.

Lorenson repeated that Aspirus Ironwood Hospital has no intention of taking over or bidding on the ambulance service, which will be up for bids. He explained how Aspirus brought in rigs for transports when Beacon Ambulance was short on staffing employees who could be used for transfers.

Loeper said the cost of a new rig is from $100,000 to $150,000, with $40,000 added for a cot-lifting mechanism.

Paul Grbavcich asked how long an ambulance would last. Loeper said he thought about five to 10 years, at the most.

Lorenson said providing better service to Watersmeet will be a key to the future of the service in the county.

Voters will be asked: “Shall the limitation on the total amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property in the County of Gogebic be increased by an amount not to exceed one mill ($1 per $1,000 of state taxable valuation) for a period of three years, 2019-’21 inclusive, the taxes to be raised to be used exclusively to pay for ambulance services within Gogebic County. If levied, the one mill will raise an estimated $523,548 in the first year.”

The election will be on Nov. 6.


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