News Saugatuck/Douglas Commercial Record

Life is new emergency transport here

By Scott Sullivan
Life EMS has replaced AMR as main ambulance provider for northern Saugatuck Township plus Saugatuck and Douglas cities.
The Grand Rapids-based firm, owned and founded by Meijer Inc. heir Mark Meijer, provides first-response EMT services from regional bases covering close to 5,000 square miles in 10 Michigan communities.
In Allegan County these include nearby Fennville; Ganges, Lee and Clyde townships, plus south portions of Saugatuck and Manlius townships.
“It is critical,” said Saugatuck Township Fire District Chief Greg Janik, “we ensure high-quality, reliable emergency medical care for our residents and visitors when they become ill or injured.”
The STFD serves the afore-mentioned tri-communities plus mutual aid to neighbor fire deparments.
“Life EMS,” Janike went on, “has been serving the southern portion of our fire district extremely well for more than four years, making this expansion an ideal fit for our area.
“An important difference,” he went on, “is that Life provides strong, local and accessible leadership to ensure the highest level of accountability.”
“As a locally-owned and
nationally-known provider of paramedic ambulance care for 44 years,” said Meijer, “we are humbled by the confidence the Saugatuck Township Fire District has in us to best serve this additional response area.
“Our highly experienced EMS team will bring the skill and compassion that Life EMS is widely recognized for in a highly-reliable and cost-effective manner to area residents and visitors when they need it most.”
The move, said Janik, reflects an ALS (Advanced Life Support) ambulance-service pilot/trial agreement with Life which begins with a test period June 1 through Dec. 31 this year.
“This agreement,” the chief went on, “will see AMR no longer regularly serving the fire district, but available in situations when Life resources are over-taxed.”
The pact follows a years-long effort by Janik, Deputy Chief Chris Mantels and a fire board comprised of representatives from each of the tri-communities to upgrade ambulance service in the district.
There is currently no cost, said Meijer, to the STFD or jurisdictions; Life bills patients/users and/or their insurance providers directly for it services — charges significantly lower, he went on, than for the last provider.
The new service agreement does not reflect the STFD’s full response to improving local EMS service and assets,” Janik added.
“You can expect more news on this front,” he said. 

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