Mich. EMS agency closes after 60 years in service

"It has been a serious struggle to keep enough licensed personnel willing to do the job," said Pickford Fire & EMS Chief Jim Miller


By Leila Merrill

CHIPPEWA COUNTY, Mich. — After 60 years of service, Pickford EMS completed its last shift, WPBN/WGTU reported.

As of Monday morning, Kinross EMS, which is about 15 minutes away, began responding to calls in Pickford.

In a letter posted on the Pickford Fire & EMS Facebook page, Chief Jim Miller explained the closure, citing well-known changes and challenges in the industry and a legal requirement in Michigan.

“To be completely transparent, it has been a serious struggle to keep enough licensed personnel willing to do the job over the past several years. Pickford Ambulance Service started 60 years ago as an all-volunteer service. It has grown and changed immensely since it’s start," Miller wrote. "Today we are a paid on call agency providing Limited Advanced Life Support. (One of the last Limited Advanced Agencies in Michigan) By state law we must staff one ambulance 24/7 365 days per year. No matter what level of licensure your ambulance agency is, or if it’s volunteer, paid on call or a full-time, this is the requirement. That’s where the trouble comes in. Staffing has become something that is to much for Pickford to overcome.”

Miller went on to advocate for an ambulance authority that multiple townships would own.


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