Approval sought for new millage for Fulton County EMS service 2015.08.19

Concern about a lack of volunteers to help with Fulton County ambulance service has led the county commissions seeking taxpayer support.

Voters will be asked in November to approve a 2.0-mill renewal for county EMS service plus an additional 2.0 mills for further support of the program.

A study in 1999 found that most ambulance services in the county were having difficulty assuring that volunteer personnel were available, and that led to the original millage to place paid personnel on ambulances around the county.

Seventeen years later, additional concern exists about volunteer help.

According to a press release from the county commissioners, a few communities throughout the county have industries that support the local efforts, which allows for those employees who are also volunteers to leave work to assist in the community.  

A concern of the advisory group is that in the event these employers change their position and do not allow employees to leave, that it could cause difficulty in staffing the services. The group discussed many options to assist the current volunteer system with staffing while also assuring access to ALS ambulance service for all Fulton County residents.

“As County Commissioners we believe this ballot issue establishes the ability to provide the necessary services today, while allowing for the opportunity to expand and grow within Fulton County,” said commissioner Jeff Rupp. “It will be up to the residents to decide what levels of service they want.”

The high standards of EMS service provided by the paid staff and volunteers is greatly appreciated, said commissioner Paul Barnaby, but concern remains about providing the best service available to county residents.

The millage request will appear on the Nov. 3 general election ballot.