Village votes to keep Edwardsburg Ambulance

Published 2:24 pm Monday, May 23, 2005

By By NORMA LERNER / Edwardsburg Argus
EDWARDSBURG - The Edwardsburg Ambulance Service will stay and continue to serve residents in the Village of Edwardsburg and Ontwa Township. It was unanimously voted by the Edwardsburg Village Council Monday night to keep the service rather than go with LifeCare Ambulance Service of Battle Creek.
Absent from voting was Jerry Jacobs. Those voting in favor of keeping the service were trustees Scott Mackling, Lana Eash, Jacque Tighe, Mary Ann Schoenfeld and Bruce Campbell.
The vote followed a work session held last week at the Ontwa Township Hall when village and township trustees discussed proposals presented by LifeCare, Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance Service and Edwardsburg to provide an ambulance service for the Cass and Edwardsburg area.
The Edwardsburg service had included a portion of Jefferson and Calvin townships, but last week, Jefferson and Calvin townships withdrew from the Edwardsburg service to go with LifeCare. The two townships had about 17 percent of total calls in the service area, according to statistics.
Edwardsburg Village President James Robinson said Monday night at the village meeting, "The members of our ambulance service have worked hard to straighten up our service in the last four to five years. They went without to get a paramedic license to become advanced life support. It's beside me why anyone would want to give our service away. That was never the agreement that the ambulance board made to give the service away."
There was a proposal to include Cass service with ours, Robinson said, but somehow got changed for LifeCare to take over the Edwardsburg service. "I think it is strange for Jefferson and Calvin Township to vote to withdraw from our service. They are one mile from the line. Our service could be there in one to two minutes. LifeCare will be based in Cass now. They will get service from Cass now. That's up to them," he said.
Following the vote, Dr. Gregory Curtis congratulated the Edwardsburg service on becoming an ALS service, the first service in the county to do so.
The council set a public hearing at 7:15 p.m. June 20 to discuss ways of financing the cost of construction of a wastewater treatment system in the village.