The Milford Township Board of Trustees listened Wednesday, Feb. 16 to presentations from representatives of Huron Valley Ambulance (HVA) and Community EMS regarding the township allowing the Milford Fire Department to provide basic life support (BLS) transport services.
The presentations were given by Dale Berry, president and CEO of HVA; and Chuck Kearns, vice president and chief operating officer of Community EMS.
“HVA talked about their service and that they operate at a loss,” said Milford Township Treasurer Cynthia Dagenhardt. “They also said they would pull out because they couldn’t afford to stay here.”
HVA is based in Ann Arbor and has a Milford branch, where its workers respond to the same emergencies as Milford’s firefighters. It offers both BLS and advanced life support (ALS) care and transport.
Dagenhardt added that Community EMS, based in Southfield, has indicated that it is willing to locate a truck in Milford should HVA depart.
“Community said that it would come in and provide basic life support and advanced life support services. We’re still getting financial figures,” said Township Clerk Holly Brandt.
Dagenhardt added that the board also asked for run numbers from Community and HVA.
The Milford Township Board of Trustees approved a plan last month to have Milford’s firefighters resume BLS transport for less-than-seriously injured patients, after the program had been temporarily halted.
Milford Fire Chief Larry Waligora has said that his department has two transport vehicles and that it has been a licensed BLS transport agency since 2003. Department personnel have treated patients on fire scenes on more than one occasion, even calling off an ambulance if it deems that BLS transport is necessary.
He added that the fire department wants to generate more revenue to help maintain equipment and cover training costs, and that handling more BLS transport duties will help with that matter, since the department could collect fees from patients’ insurance companies.
However, Township Supervisor Don Green has argued against the move, saying that it conflicts with township policy, where firefighters only give BLS transport in the absence of an ambulance, and amounts to the township competing with the private sector.
Berry and Kearns were not available for comment prior to press time.