Following an hour and 40 minutes of community discussion, board members of the Vermilion River Ambulance District decided it would continue its contract with Citizens for another three years.
The board, which started its meeting at 8 p.m., entered into executive session about 9:40, after entertaining questions and discussion. People making comments included various district residents, Citizens Ambulance EMS coordinator Lucas Palm and Don Schiffbauer, the chief operating officer for LifeCare Ambulance Inc. — Citizens’ opponent in the race for the contract.
Among the crowd was Wakeman Mayor Chris Hipp, who told the board he felt it didn’t have enough information to make “an informed decision.” He said he attended the meeting to make sure all the T’s were crossed and I’s were dotted.
“We want what's best for the community,” board president Don Daniels said. “We want to make sure we’re getting the best service for our money.”
Issues presented against Citizens Ambulance included dispatching time, routing and its amount of debt.
The final decision, which was made in executive decision, ended in a 3-1 vote in Citizens’ favor, with board member Nancy Delong being the only nay-sayer. The board of the Vermilion River Ambulance District makes decisions on bids for EMS service and distributes taxes to the service area of Citizens Ambulance — the village of Wakeman and the townships of Wakeman, Townsend and Florence.