Silver Lake contracts with Silver Lake Rescue until March 1

sl-rescue-squad-backSilver Lake Rescue Squad Inc. will continue to provide emergency medical services to Silver Lake until March 1 after action taken by the Village Board Wednesday.

The board agreed to contract with the rescue squad for a per month pro-rated fee of $2,250. Trustee Pat Dunn was the only vote in opposition.

Trustee Cyndy Schwebke, chairman of the Emergency Government Committee, proposed the contract saying its approval would give the village time to consider the latest longer term proposal for services offered by the rescue squad.

The meeting’s agenda called for a 90-day contract term, but village attorney Linda Gray pointed out the actual contract term was just until March 1.

Silver Lake has been considering discontinuing its long-standing contract with Silver Lake Rescue Inc. in favor of an arrangement with Salem Fire/Rescue for EMS with Silver Lake Fire Department firefighters acting as first responders on medical calls. Silver Lake Rescue is a free standing entity while the Silver Lake Fire Department is part of the village government. The village has been paying Silver Lake Rescue $27,000 a year for its services. In theory, the agreement with Salem could let Silver Lake keep the $27,000 it now pays to Silver Lake Rescue to bolster fire department funds. Under the proposed agreement with Salem, Salem would not charge the village a fee, but would be able to bill patients in Silver Lake for services. Salem officials estimate they could take in $15,000-$30,000 in annual revenue under the agreement. The agreement with Salem Fire/Rescue was voted down Dec. 12 at a special Village Board meeting after extensive discussion. Meanwhile, Silver Lake Rescue submitted a new proposal Dec. 14  that significantly reduces the retainer fee paid compared to recent years. Rescue officials hope the new terms and two-year time frame will give the village’s Silver Lake Fire Department and the rescue squad, a free-standing corporation, time to work out a mutually beneficial future, said Dan Gerber, Silver Lakes Rescue Squad Inc., president.

Dunn did not elaborate during the meeting on the reason for his no vote.

Schwebke said she expects to schedule a meeting soon to discuss EMS alternatives.



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