When it comes to responding to emergencies, time is a matter of life and death.
For 10 years, MediRide EMS has been providing Marquette County with advanced life support services.
"A lot of times, there are delays with the units needed, coming from Marquette, 15-20 minutes, so we thought there was a real need for getting these a little closer to provide that care," says Jeff Prisk of MediRide EMS.
Abbreviated ALS, Advanced Life Support, supplements basic EMS services, meaning it provides equipment and skilled paramedics to care for severe injuries and medical conditions. Now, residents in southern Marquette County are going to have those services closer to home.
"This allows for me to get there within a matter of minutes rather than 20-30 minutes, and that's the whole key to us being out here," says Eric Johnson, the paramedic for the ALS unit.
Paramedic Johnson works out of his home in Sawyer; he responds to emergencies by keeping his radio on him 24/7. He rides his ALS vehicle everywhere he goes, even to the grocery store, so he's always ready when called upon. He refers to his vehicle as his mini ER; it carries $100,000 worth of equipment, everything from pain medication to a heart monitor.
The ALS unit acts as an intercept back up to EMS agencies in the Forsyth Township area, and Forsyth Township EMS welcomes the addition, telling us "This is new having an intercepting unit at Sawyer. We are happy to be part of anything that enhances patient care," says Carilyn Froberg, Director of Forsyth EMS.
MediRide EMS is one of three ambulance services offering ALS in Marquette County.