Let’s compare ambulance services | Lisa Robbin

Let’s compare ambulance services | Lisa Robbin

One of my first ambulance jobs was in 1992 starting with North Land Ambulance Service and North Memorial Ambulance Service.

We would like you, the public, to support us in keeping North Land and not allow Lakes Region EMS to take over our ambulance area.   

Village President George Hansford stated at a village board meeting that he needs to be fiscally responsible for the village of Frederic. Let’s compare the costs (the financial impact) to our residents when you use your current provider, North Land, or Lakes Region EMS. (See chart below).

If you look at the difference between the costs of the calls, using Lakes Region results in our residents being responsible for an average charge nearly $1,770 more than what they are responsible for today!  (Assumption of 10 miles.)  Please remember, residents/taxpayers are subsidizing your chosen provider.  Also, when Lakes Region EMS became the provider for SCF/Centuria/Milltown, the tax per capita was increased.

As important, your current EMS team, North Land Ambulance, receives their professional medical education/direction from Regions Hospital, a nationally recognized Level I Pediatric/Adult Trauma Center in St. Paul.  Lakes Region EMS medical direction is with Fairview Lakes Wyoming (Minn.), a Level IV Trauma Center.  North Land is recognized/licensed under state regulations set forth by the state of Wisconsin.  You enjoy a professional all-volunteer ambulance team with first responders who are your neighbors.  Who better to serve you and care for you in an emergency?

When we consider that the proposal provided to your town board would change coverage for our 11 communities from two ambulances to one, one has to ask who is benefiting from this change.  Where would the ambulance be coming from when your heart stops and needs a restart?  Clearly, not from one of your two local ambulance bases, currently in Frederic and Luck.  Lakes Region EMS stated they would put one ambulance in the village of Luck to cover all 11 communities.

This past weekend, North Land – Frederic ambulance responded to a cardiac arrest, with first responders arriving first and starting CPR.  North Land’s crew used the Lucas device (automatic CPR device, with proven improved clinical outcome results), due to the generosity of a community member.  We have two Lucas devices that have proven to dramatically impact your survival from a cardiac arrest.

Lakes Region EMS has stated that the ambulance in Luck might be used if a transfer from hospital needs to be done and then your 911 ambulance will be coming from Centuria/Milltown if they are available.  I was recently working on the Frederic ambulance crew and No. 572 (the St. Croix Falls) Ambulance went on a hospital transfer to Regions.  Then, according to Polk County Dispatch, 572 went on a 911 call, taking the patient to Fairview Lakes Wyoming.  Luck Ambulance had to go on a 911 call in St. Croix Falls.  Frederic Ambulance had to cover all of our area including SCF/Centuria/Milltown.  Is this what we want?

Again, SCF did not have a choice in their ambulance service, we at North Land still do.  We rarely have been out of service, our ambulance staff is committed and dedicated to this area – for $2/hour.

We don’t have all the drugs the paramedic service has, but we have the capabilities to add more.  We have community support with determination and willingness to provide great ambulance service to our community with our current staff. The Ravenholt Foundation gave $30,000 to North Land Ambulance that allowed us to purchase the Lucas devices.  We also applied for a significant grant that will be used for the cost of the new ambulance.

Please call or write your village presidents/town chairpersons.  Currently, elected officials are talking to others to try to change their minds, with Lakes Region EMS taking over our 11 communities.  Tell them you do not want your per capita rates to go up, or to increase your medical bill with additional higher mileage costs.  Consider the impact of losing local first responders, and increased response times when the ambulance you are counting on is coming from SCF/Centuria/Milltown.  I ask that you support your current, dedicated, local ambulance service, North Land EMS.

Lisa Robbin,

WI/MN Paramedic, Critical Care Paramedic, National Registered Paramedic

Rural Frederic