Archived Story

Coloma ambulance pact extended for five years

Published 8:59am Tuesday, October 20, 2009

By JOHN EBY
Dowagiac Daily News

Cass-Van Buren Emergency Services Authority (CVBESA) Monday afternoon at City Hall extended its agreement with Coloma Emergency Medical Service (CEMS) for five years.

Coloma began providing ambulance service to Dowagiac and surrounding townships on March 1, 2008.

Dowagiac City Council accepted the initial three-year agreement 4-1 at a special meeting Jan. 21, 2008.

Oct. 19′s quorum consisted of Silver Creek Township Supervisor Bill Saunders, who conducted the early afternoon meeting, City Manager Kevin Anderson, Wayne Township Supervisor Dr. Frank Butts and Keeler Township Supervisor Bill Kays.

CVBESA was joined at its quarterly meeting by Joy Strand, administrator and chief operating officer since 2007 of Borgess Lee-Memorial Hospital, and Cassie Sikes for CEMS.

Absent were LaGrange Township Supervisor Robert Wright, Pokagon Township Supervisor Linda Preston and Volinia Township Supervisor Gwenn Johnson.

Anderson summed up the contract by saying, “It’s a five-year agreement at no cost to any of the municipalities. It’s one year notice if we look to get out of it for any reason. Response time specifications remain very similar to what we had in the past. This is a little over a year ahead of when the contract expires. We wanted to get started on it with the city moving its fire station. We wanted to give them a contract extension that would allow (Coloma) to get the space they want.”

Saunders asked Sikes how the reopening of the nursing home in 2010 will impact CEMS.
“I honestly can’t tell you that,” Sikes said. “When they get in here, we’ll adjust and keep our response times we promised. Certainly there will be more calls. We service the other two nursing homes in southwest Michigan (that Atrium Centers, LLC) owns in South Haven.”

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  • john doe

    Good luck with that decision folks, “for free” except to the taxpayers in surrounding municipalities who pay people to come in and take coloma’s calls when they are scalping their contracted area, congradulations to all those involved in making these dangerous decisions…

  • dowagiac_resident

    I have a scanner at home and I have been hearing other services taking calls in dowagiac, especially as of late. If this service is contracted for 1-2 ambulances and they can’t handle what they have got, how can they be expected to handle things when the nursing home opens?

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