Silver Lake to negotiate with Salem for medical transport services

Silver Lake will begin negotiating with Salem Fire/Rescue for medical transport services in a move that ultimately would end the use of Silver Lake Rescue by the village.

Under a plan outlined at the Village Board meeting Wednesday, Silver Lake Fire Department members will respond as first responders for medical calls. Salem Fire/Rescue personnel will also respond and transport patients to area hospitals if necessary.

Currently, Silver Lake Rescue is contracted by the village to handle all emergency medical services in the village.

Silver Lake Rescue is a free standing entity while the Silver Lake Fire Department is part of the village government.

Trustee Cyndy Schwebke, who will head up negotiations with Salem, said the plan is for Salem to provide the service to the village in exchange for the Silver Lake Fire Department covering parts of Salem for fire protection, such as the Shorewood Estates neighborhood.

Trustee Sue Gerber questioned how the fire department will provide service to additional areas for fire protection when the department has had trouble responding to calls in the current area.

From the audience, former Trustee Alan Bryner objected to ending the 50-year relationship between the village and Silver Lake Rescue.

“It’s just unbelievable that you’ve just tossed rescue aside,” said Bryner, also a former member of the rescue squad and fire department.

Village President Jeff Albrecht said the change will be the first of others designed to make the village’s fire department more financially viable. The change will allow the $27,000 paid to rescue to be used for the fire department.

“That’s how we will infuse money into the fire department,” Albrecht said. “What we’re looking for is to strengthen the fire department because the fire department is unsustainable. This is step 1 . In my opinion, this is the way to go.”

Having Salem Fire/Rescue respond to medical calls will bring paramedic level service to the village. Silver Lake Rescue personnel are rated at IV Tech level of care, which they say can handle about 98 percent of calls.

Rescue Squad President Dan Gerber said the village’s plans will mean no change in his organizations efforts, at least until Silver Lake formalizes an agreement with Salem. If that comes to pass, the squad will be set back some, he said, but they still will serve areas of Wheatland, Randall and Brighton.

“We will have more time to serve those areas,” Gerber said after the meeting.

The village has been examining the future of the fire department since Sept. 2011, including forming an ad hoc committee of veteran fire service participants to make recommendations.



  1. Concerned Taxpayer says:

    I cannot believe the village is just going to push aside the rescue squad. We’ve used you for year and adios! Are you kidding me? These people volunteer their own time to provide service to the community, time taken away from their own families and given to others and you want to just take that away? Sure, Salem and Silver Lake Fire may swap services for a year, but what happens after that? Look up and see what Paddock Lake pays Salem for providing service there…nearly 3 times what Silver Lake Rescue charges the village for service. Plan on your taxes going way up! Renters, your’s will too, since the owner’s will have to increase your rent to cover taxes.
    More importantly…response times…how long is it from Salem or Trevor to get to Silver Lake? You do the math! If your family member gets hurt or stops breathing, do you want to wait an extra 12 minutes or so? You tell me, or tell your village! Speak up and be heard!
    Silver Lake Rescue hasn’t agreed to a merger with the fire dept because the village won’t answer questions on how the merger will work, etc. Let’s get some answers! So the village wants a merger! Oh the merger, we must merger! Why? How will that work? So the fire dept is losing money…how about fix the fire dept! Work on fixing that instead of what’s not broken. (sarcasticly) I can see all the gold watches at the rescue squad. Gimme a break. How many calls does fire go on? How many get billed and paid? Why not contract Wilmot to provide fire service? Why mess with rescue? If you’d give the rescue squad reasons why they should merge, maybe they’d consider it, or at least answer one of the questions they’ve give you… but maybe you have more friends on the fire dept.

    The way this village is treating it’s longtime volunteers just disgusts me. These are people that went to training to volunteer for this village and you want to push them aside? Some aren’t even village members but come and stay at the station to volunteer their service and time away from their own families.

  2. I read with interest until says:

    I read with interest until the writer commented about Wilmot as it if it were a separate entity. Clearly the person is parroting words heard from others but doesnt know that “Salem” is “Wilmot, Trevor and Salem”.

    Like I said, ‘parroting’ the words said by others without knowledge.

    The Village is running a business. The SL Rescue appears to be running a club but should be running a business. Have they kept up with Salem (aka, all the Salem stations?) The volunteers could just as easily volunteer with Salem, or Wilmot or Trevor or Randall, or Twin Lakes. As a user of Wilmot Mountain, I would much prefer to get quick service from Wilmot than to wait on Silver Lake to respond. Just sayin’

    Again, the writer it seems is parroting words from a disgruntled association member.

  3. Concerned Taxpayer says:

    I realize Salem/Trevor/Wilmot are all one and the same now, but the word is that if Silver Lake Village contracts with Salem Rescue that they would respond from Salem or Trevor stations. I was told that Salem Rescue housed their ambulances in Trevor and Salem only. I could have been misinformed? Silver Lake Rescue doesn’t need more stations. What does more stations means? If Silver Lake Rescue had 4 stations, would that make them better? I have nothing and I mean nothing against Salem Rescue at all. They provide excellent service just like the rest of the rescue stations in the surrounding areas. I, as a Silver Lake resident, would like to continue to have Silver Lake Rescue service our community, as they have been doing so for so long. Show them some respect. These people volunteer their time to service the community and it just doesn’t seem like the village is giving them the time of day. I wish more citizens would speak up. Silver Lake Rescue has serviced all of you for years. I do not for one minute believe that it will be free from Salem forever and more importantly, am concerned with response time.
    What I don’t understand is, Silver Lake Rescue has been more than open to talk about a merger with the Fire Dept but the village, who keeps forming committees, etc to put this “merger” together, can’t answer a single question as to how this merger will work or what a single benefit of it would be. You wouldn’t buy a new car without seeing the price first, seeing what the payment would be or seeing if it gets better gas mileage than your old car.

  4. Taxes will Sky Rocket says:

    “I read with interest until” obviously has never been to the Silver Lake Rescue Squad and doesn’t know what he/she is talking about. Silver Lake Rescue is not a club; it’s a corporation that is designed around providing rescue service to the surrounding areas. Yes they do have employee’s that volunteer a lot of time, but they are also paid, and are staffed 24/7. These people are professionally trained, and unlike fire, must maintain a certain amount of yearly continuing education hours and take bi-annual state refresher classes.

    The bottom line is that the Taxes will skyrocket in the next few years, and even the one’s that rent in town will see the rent go up to cover the cost. The first time a Silver Lake fire truck cannot respond to the expanded response area (even Jeff Albrecht admitted they couldn’t get an engine out to a fire at the Dairy Queen on a Saturday) and someone dies because no first responders show while it takes Salem 12 – 15 minutes to respond, you will see the fallout and the blame game will begin.

    I hear paramedic this and paramedic that, but the village already has paramedic coverage. Silver Lake Rescue has contracts in place for paramedic intercepts with Salem, Medix, Spring Grove and Fox Lake, what more do you want? Less then 2% of the calls in the village of Silver Lake require a “paramedic” response and the ones that do, get the paramedic intercept. And for those people in the village that have special needs, they carry special equiptment on the rigs, just for those individuals.

    The fact is, the fire department, who currently has a budget of 57 thousand has already submitted a budget for over 200 thousand to expand the fire station to add living quarters and start paying the volunteer fire fighters. They are already talking about having a union like Somers and the city of Kenosha. They are now going to start collecting fees from the local people. Check the meeting minutes from the last village board meeting. Better not call 911 if that CO detector goes off too many times and it’s a false alarm caused by a low battery, they voted in a new ordnance whereby they will charge you 400 dollars for that fire engine to show up, 150 for a chiefs vehicle (which they don’t even have yet), and a fee for the ambulance to show up. (Which they don’t even have the titles for and have one hidden at the treatment plant out of view.)

    Al Bryner, under the freedom of information act, has requested 4 years of fire department records, including, meeting minutes, training records and financials, and has received nothing! Where has all the money from the street dances gone? He would like to know, and as a village entity, they are required to show, but they will not hand over the records.

    It’s a sad day for the people of Silver Lake, it’s bad enough when you drive through town and see all the for sale signs, now taxes are going to ski rocket forcing more people out and offering no incentives for new people or business to come to the village. Why would someone pick Silver Lake when they can be across the village’s limits and pay half the taxes?

    It’s time people start coming to the village meetings. People need to ask the tough questions about how much is this REALLY going to cost? They voted to kick Silver Lake Rescue out, and when a person asked how they plan on doing it, Schebkey just stated “we’ll work those details out later”. Are they CRAZY?! Who does that?! I would think you would want to know all the details first BEFORE you make a decision to change the fundamental services of the village. And why is this village board driving out local businesses? Thank God most of them are up for election again in April; hopefully it won’t be too late for the people of Silver Lake.

  5. Concerned Taxpayer says:

    Well said “Taxes Will Sky Rocket”

  6. DebateNotHate says:

    There is always room for good discussion, both pro and con to issues as important as this one. But falsifying information is not the way to have that discussion. To clarify:
    >The SLFD budget is no where near $200 thousand. In fact it is not even half that amount.
    >The SLFS already charges fees for most services. Salem would be a like charge, not an additional charge.
    >SLRS is a private corporation and members are are compensated for their service, they are not unpaid volunteers Their income comes from fees from customers and patients. The village subsidizes their services.
    >SLFD is in need of funding to ensure there are responses to all calls, especially during the daytime hours when members are most often not in the village limits.
    >SLFD belongs to the us – the taxpayers and residents of Silver Lake. These volunteers deserve the funding to ensure response. So there are two choices: raise taxes or
    re-allocate funds already being spent. Your board chose to make an attempt to contract rescue services at or above current levels and fund fire service to a higher and more efficient level. As a village resident, we should expect the best fire and rescue that we can afford without unnecessarily raising our property taxes.

  • Follow us on

  • Archives