Community voices concern over possible EMS changes

More than 100 people showed up at the Elk Rapids Township Board meeting Tuesday night.

People packed into the Elk Rapids Township Board meeting Tuesday night.

Officials there are looking at making changes to their EMS services in order to save money. More than 120 residents came out and voiced their concerns about the proposed change.

The resounding theme during the public comment portion was protecting the community.

Elk Rapids is home to state-of-the-art advanced life support ambulance services. Residents want to maintain those services.

Faced with budget issues, the township board has to make some tough decisions.

One of options on the table regarding ambulance service is privatization.

Residents of Elk Rapids Village and Township as well as Milton Township are concerned that means downgrading their shared services.

â??Most of us know, personally, people who have had their lives saved by this service,â?? said Larry Nemshick, a concerned Elk Rapids Township resident. â??We would be very reticent to see it go away because of a current budget issue.â??

The board members say raising mils to pay for the services is a viable option. The three regions will need to compromise to find a solution.

Board members will go over the millage and budget numbers before making any decisions.

They scheduled another meeting where they will set the millage and amend the budget.

That will take place Tuesday, September 17 at one p.m. It is open to the public.