Marquette West End County Clerks Sign Articles of Incorporation

ELY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) – Marquette County West End EMS Services officially entered into a historic partnership at Ely Township Hall today.

Township clerks and supervisors signed articles of incorporation to develop the West End EMS Authority. This would allow the townships of Ely, Republic, Humboldt, Champion and Tilden to develop a council and work as a united team to meet critical emergency response needs in their rural areas.

“Each township, historically, had its own first responders,” said Ely Township Clerk Jeremy Laakso. “Due to the nationwide volunteer crisis with the emergency services, we were no longer able to get the people we needed.”

Alyson Sundberg, director of UP Health System EMS, said this moment couldn’t have come at a better time.

“There are 911 calls coming out that no first responder is available, and that patient has to wait for that ambulance to come from UPHS Bell,” Sundberg said. “It could take 20 or 25 minutes in some states, and in some situations it makes the outcome worse.”

To further address this need, the UP Health System EMT School is also inviting anyone from these rural townships to take their course and become first responders. Ely Township First Responder Coordinator Allison LeSage says they will need all the help they can get.

“We currently cover west of Ishpeming up to (County Road) 581, and up to the Dickinson County and Republic line,” LeSage said. “It’s a very large coverage area.”

And, Laakso agreed that more available responders can mean the difference between life and death.

“Having a first responder on site,” Laakso said, “it can be as simple as showing your support. He can give oxygen. It can maybe stop some bleeding.

At this time, the West End EMS Authority only requires clerk signatures for Republic and Tilden Townships. Once they have signed and the class attorney reviews the paperwork, they will be sent to the state for final acknowledgment.

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