Green Lake County EMS

Berlin EMS covers Green Lake and Princeton, while Southern Green Lake County Ambulance is based in Markesan and covers Marquette, Dalton and Kingston as well. A preliminary study proposes creating a countywide EMS system.

Green Lake County residents have until Friday, Nov. 6 to submit public comments regarding proposals to establish a countywide ambulance service as well as provide feedback about the county’s current emergency medical services (EMS).

The county is looking for input regarding EMS after the Green Lake County Board last month received a presentation on the preliminary findings and recommendations from an EMS study conducted by Strategic Management Consulting LLC (SMC).

This week’s Green Lake County Board meeting agenda does not mention the study and an ad hoc committee meeting scheduled for Thursday regarding the study has been canceled.

The study evaluated EMS within Green Lake County and recommended establishing a countywide, municipal-based EMS system to ensure full-time EMS staffing throughout the county.

Green Lake County’s current EMS system is composed of one volunteer non-transporting agency, one volunteer paid-on-call transporting agency, one full-time municipal-based agency and several agencies in bordering counties, according to SMC.

Of those groups, Berlin EMS covers Berlin, Green Lake and Princeton, while Southern Green Lake County EMS (SGLC-EMS) is based in Markesan and covers Marquette, Dalton and Kingston as well.

At the Sept. 15 County Board meeting, SMC President Dan Williams and Vice President Dana Sechler presented four possible models to establish a countywide EMS system.

“We want to provide the best EMS coverage, provide the highest quality of care and provide the most economical model,” Williams said of the study’s objectives and recommendations. “We’re not here to try to break anybody” financially.

He added that SMC was asked to conduct the study by the Green Lake County Ambulance Ad Hoc Committee, which was formed in 2019 to evaluate EMS in the county.

If the county chooses one of the approaches, Sechler noted it would have to take a “phased-in” or “stepped approach” as EMS systems cannot change overnight.

Option 1

According to SMC’s presentation, this option would:

  • Staff three full-time ambulances in the county, with stations in Green Lake, Markesan and Berlin
  • Require a department head to oversee EMS throughout Green Lake County, a deputy director and an administrative assistant
  • Be the most expensive
  • “Allows for the most EMS coverage at a paramedic level”
  • Allow Green Lake County to be exempt from a 2% tax levy limit due to possible new construction and the establishment of a new service
  • Create the “greatest amount of change for volunteer service providers”
  • Have an anticipated tax levy of $1.6 million, which amounts to roughly $86 per capita

Option 2

According to SMC’s presentation, this option would:

  • Staff two full-time paramedic units with EMS staff stations in Green Lake, Berlin Staff a third unit with one full-time paramedic and one volunteer, paid per call or part-time emergency responder in Markesan
  • Have an anticipated tax levy of $1.4 million, which amounts to roughly $76 per capita
  • Be “a good phase-in option” rather than going to an all full-time system as it “allows time for transition and buy-in from all entities.”
  • Not be as expensive as Option No. 1, but is the second most expensiveWould allow the county to exceed the 2% tax levy limit

Option 3

According to SMC’s presentation, this option would:

  • Staff two full-time paramedic units with EMS staffing in Green Lake and BerlinStaff a third station in Markesan with all volunteer, paid-per-call or part-time emergency responders
  • Have an anticipated tax Levy of $1.2 million, which amounts to roughly $68 per capita
  • Stations in Berlin and Green Lake would be required to each have a minimum of one full-time paramedic, while the one in Markesan would not
  • Offer the most use of current volunteers, paid-per-call and part time staff Allow time for people to buy into the idea of a countywide EMS service Allow the county to exceed the 2% tax levy limit
  • Does “not guarantee a paramedic rig in Markesan”

Option 4

According to SMC’s presentation, this option would:

  • Staff two paramedic units with full-time EMS staff in Berlin and Green Lake and would not have a third unit
  • Have an anticipated tax levy of $1.1 million, which amounts to roughly $58 per capita
  • Not require SGLC-EMS to join the countywide system, meaning there would be no “county paramedic-level rig in Markesan”
  • See a lower call volume for the countywide service than the other options, meaning the county’s revenue also would be less
  • See Markesan taxed by both Green Lake County and SGLC-EMS for ambulance service
  • Not allow the county to exceed the 2% tax levy

As Green Lake County works to evaluate its current EMS infrastructure and contemplate possible changes, it wants input from the community.

Anyone interested in expressing an opinion on the countywide ambulance issue may fill out the form available at www.co.green-lake.wi.us/county-wide-ambulance-service-input/.

Joe Schulz served as the reporter of the Green Laker in 2019 and 2020, before being hired as a reporter for the Commonwealth in October 2020. He is from Oshkosh and will be graduating from UW-Oshkosh with a degree in journalism in December.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Thank you for taking part in our commenting section. We want this platform to be a safe and inclusive community where you can freely share ideas and opinions. Comments that are racist, hateful, sexist or attack others won’t be allowed. Just keep it clean. Do these things or you could be banned:

• Don’t name-call and attack other commenters. If you’d be in hot water for saying it in public, then don’t say it here.

• Don’t spam us.

• Don’t attack our journalists.

Let’s make this a platform that is educational, enjoyable and insightful.

Email questions to darkin@orourkemediagroup.com.