A proposal for Salem servicing Silver Lake for fire protection and emergency medical services as currently proposed foresees a different role for Silver Lake Rescue than it is currently serving for the village.
Currently, the rescue squad, a stand alone agency that the village contracts for service with, is the village’s main EMS provider, including providing transport to a hospital when needed. Silver Lake Fire Department members also respond as first responders. Transport is a key element because rescue agencies can bill insurance companies or patients for that service.
Under the proposed Salem agreement as currently envisioned, Silver Lake Rescue would be hired by Salem to provide that first response in support of Town of Salem Fire/Rescue personnel, who also would respond to medical calls in Silver Lake. Explains Salem fire Chief Mike Slover:
Details have not been worked out for the contract and other good ideas might come up but as of now, we would utilize Silver Lake Rescue for 1st emergency response within the Village. Our intent is to provide ALS care with minimum delay for all citizens so our EMS unit would be dispatched on all calls. Salem most likely will transport all calls unless other calls dictate mutual aid and/or Silver Lake Rescue to transport. This is how our contract currently is with Silver Lake Rescue in outlying areas of the Town of Salem.”
How EMS and fire protection is to be handled in the village has been an ongoing issue for a couple of years. The proposal from Salem is the latest possibility. It was presented at a joint meeting between the boards of the two municipalities Monday and is expected to be voted on at the Feb. 5 regular Village Board meeting, with discussion at a committee of the whole meeting before then for which a specific date has not been set yet.
A request for comment from Silver Lake Rescue Squad Inc. has not been answered.