Flushing establishes new EMS unit

The Flushing City Council voted on a special assessment to pay for a new program addressing their EMS response times.
Published: May. 16, 2023 at 6:05 PM EDT
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FLUSHING, Mich. (WNEM) - The Flushing City Council voted on a special assessment to pay for a new program addressing their EMS response times.

“Right now, the city of Flushing is experiencing 12, 13-minute response times. And only a third of the time will an ambulance arrive in less than 8 minutes and that’s not good for our population,” said Flushing Mayor Joe Karlichek.

Those response times led the city council to establish an EMS unit at the Flushing Fire Department and levy a special assessment to pay for the program.

“Our police officers have been running medical calls in the city of Flushing and we’re burdening our police officers with the enormous amount of work,” Karlichek said. “They’re not trained and licensed to do that.”

Under the plan, two part-time EMS personnel will be on duty 24/7 to respond to tier one and tier two medical calls and lift assists.

Karlichek said the expectation is that the unit will have a response time of four minutes or less on average, but it’s going to cost the residents. The special assessment doesn’t require the public’s vote and would be a flat dollar amount or based upon ad valorem taxable value.

“We looked at other considerations to fund it right now there’s nothing at the federal or state level. But we will pursue any funding that we can get to help offset the cost. What we’re looking to have is a millage-based special assessment that gives mid ranges from annual cost for our citizens from about a $130 a year to upwards about a $156 a year on average,” Karlichek said.

He pointed out that while this EMS system may be new to the county, they are not the first to utilize the fire department for EMS purposes.

“This is something that’s going on across the state and across the nation because of the lack of ambulance coverage,” Karlichek said.

Any objections to the special assessment must be submitted to the city clerk in writing.

The Flushing City Council will hold a review to confirm the special assessment roll and order collection at a special meeting on May 23 at 6:30 p.m. Any written objections to the special assessment will be considered at that time.

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