Hundreds of EMS workers traveled to Marquette for the 32nd Annual Emergency Services Educational Conference this weekend.
The event began in the University Center on Northern Michigan University's campus with speeches from keynote speakers and Senator Tom Casperson. The conference is attended by emergency response workers from all over the U.P. and other rural parts of Michigan and Wisconsin, who come to receive the latest training in health, emergency and crisis situations.
The attendees also had the opportunity to have their voices heard by the senator concerning the many issues the EMS are plaguing the field today. One of those issues is the low pay grade for workers, which Senator Casperson says discourages the younger generation from wanting to be involved in this field of work.
"We seem to be running into eventually a problem here where the younger generation, wanting to get involved and that probably get to the heart of what I've been learning and what we may be doing from the top down, Lansing-down type of mentality is discouraging people to want to be involved in something like this," said Casperson.
He also addressed the issue of revamping the training for workers so they can be fully equipped with the skill and proper equipment needed to respond to any situation. During a question and answer portion of Casperson's speech, audience members raised concerns about House Bill 4785 which increases fees and expenses in the EMS field, making it even more discouraging for those wanting to get involved.
The remainder of the conference will include over 70 different workshops and lessons to revamp training for those at the conference.