City Times Staff
The Village of Plover has asked Portage Co. to add an additional ambulance and EMS staff to its fleet, and want the new unit stationed full-time at the Plover Fire Department.
Fire Chief Mark Deaver said an ambulance and crew are currently stationed at PFD for 40 hours a week; the rest of the time, the unit is housed at Stevens Point Fire Station No. 2. but still covers. But not having a permanent unit at the department’s disposal has added precious minutes to response times for some emergency calls in the village’s rural areas, he said.
The Plover Area comprises about 17,000 of the county’s 72,000 residents, Deaver said, and call times would improve by as much as four minutes if an ambulance would be housed permanently at the village’s fire department.
“Every minute counts when you’re waiting for EMS care and waiting to get to the hospital,” Deaver told the EMS Oversight Committee in July.
EMS crews responded to 1,034 calls in 2015, according to county records — about one-quarter of the total calls for all of Portage Co. in the same time frame.
Plover Administrator Dan Mahoney said housing a permanent EMS crew in Plover would not benefit only the village, which already works jointly with emergency crews from Stevens Point and other surrounding areas on a regular basis.
“By adding an additional ambulance to the system, this would improve the service to the residents of the whole county,” he said.
Deaver said an additional ambulance would also be able to provide additional coverage for “large traffic accidents, natural disasters and multiple calls happening at the same time.”
County leaders have made no recommendation on the request yet, but County Board Supervisor Don Jankowski has asked for the topic to be placed on the committee’s agenda “for the next six months or so” to allow for more discussion.