In response to the April 9 letter in the State Line Observer from Mrs. Trulla McClain and the Concerned Citizens, I Michael P. Kopaniasz, the Morenci Area EMS Supervisor, along with Cindy Lazarz, Morenci Area EMS (MAEMS) Manager, would like to respond to the question, “Why are we paying for an ambulance service that is not always available?” My question to you is, what does Morenci Fire Department do when they are called on two house fires at once, or assisting another community with a fire?
The 2007 and 2008 run logs showed Morenci Area EMS missed calls, but not necessarily because of a transfer. This year, we have missed only one run because we were already on a 911 medical call. In 2007, MAEMS ended with 451 runs and nearly 20% were transfers for a total of 56 ALS and 34 BLS totaling 90. MAEMS missed five calls last year, only one because we were on a transfer. The other three calls occurred when we were already on 911 medical calls in our service area.
We do transfers because of a 10-year contracted agreement to help keep money in our community. We are contracted to transfer all residents of Addison, Madison, Hudson and Morenci service areas from Bixby and Herrick Hospitals, one out of four weeks every month. The other three weeks, transfers are performed by the other three listed agencies. MAEMS is run no differently than any of the other ambulance services in Lenawee County, with the exception that we have no first responders. MAEMS makes every attempt to find a second crew to do transfers. There are only four EMTs who actually live in the MAEMS service area out of the 18 total employees. I do not know how “too many employees are hired by the EMS service,” referring to a Morenci City Council Meeting audience member statement printed in the October 2007 Observer. There are only two paid employees at a time to work 24-7-365, and none of them receive benefits. There are only three Morenci Fire Department firefighters who have an EMT license and work for MAEMS.
Mrs. McClain and the Concerned Citizens, simply put: we are available. If I was to be asked what we do when we are not on a transfer or 911 run, I would tell you that for your community we provide free of charge: an open door policy for vital signs and basic first aid, every Tuesday meals on wheels, assist the fire department on fires, help with missing children searches and provide vital sign checks during our EMS week (May 18-24 behind City Hall).
For questions or concerns, call 458-7098 and ask for Michael P. Kopaniasz or Cindy Lazarz.
– Michael P. Kopaniasz, Morenci Area EMS Supervisor and Cindy Lazarz, Morenci Area EMS Administrator