The Milford Fire Department has been given approval by Milford Township to handle Basic Life Support (BLS) transport duties for less-than-seriously-injured patients, but the township is awaiting a response from Huron Valley Ambulance (HVA) regarding the matter.
The Milford Township Board of Trustees approved a plan last month to have Milford’s firefighters resume BLS transport for patients, after the program was temporarily halted.
However, Supervisor Don Green said that HVA representatives are scheduled to appear at the township board’s Wednesday, Feb. 16 meeting and that he is still investigating the matter.
HVA, which has a Milford branch, responds to the same emergencies as Milford’s firefighters and offers both BLS and Advanced Life Support (ALS) care and transport.
Milford Fire Chief Larry Waligora said his department has two transport vehicles and that the department has been a licensed BLS transport agency since 2003.
“We want to do more transport and generate revenue for the fire department to help maintain equipment and training costs,” Waligora said. “We have treated patients on fire scenes on more than one occasion. On a medical call, if we feel that only BLS is necessary, then we will call off an ambulance and do the procedure.”
Green was the only member of the township board who voted last month against resumption of BLS services, saying that the township shouldn’t compete with the private sector and that it conflicts with township policy, where firefighters only provide BLS transport if an ambulance is not available.
Township Treasurer Cynthia Dagenhardt said that based on the numbers and run calculations provided, the fire department stands to generate around $130,000 a year by billing patients’ insurance companies for transport services.
She added that the BLS transport plan is not a ploy for the fire department personnel to become full-time employees.
Waligora said that if HVA was to leave Milford, he has spoken to other ambulance agencies, including STAR and Community EMS, and that both agencies will support the department.
The township will also look into a BLS medical billing setup for insurance companies.