DICKINSON COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - Beacon Ambulance has announced they will be discontinuing ambulance services to all of Dickinson County.
The entire statement from Beacon Ambulance is below.
''In accordance with requirements of the Public Health Code; this serves as 24-hour written notice of discontinuation of all 911 service from our Dickinson County, Michigan, operations; effective [8:00 a.m.], November 8, 2019."
"This decision does not come easily, especially after 28-plus years serving the community. You may recall from other previous correspondence or media reports the ongoing difficulties with random utilization of our services by [Dickinson County Healthcare System] and staffing issues. After further, thorough financial review and careful consideration, it was determined this untenable situation had continued for too long to be recoverable under current conditions. We are hopeful these circumstances will change and afford us the opportunity to reconsider this outcome."
"We are thankful for the support and well wishes expressed recently in response to stories in the news media. Going forward with the community, and our response partner-agencies, foremost in our minds; please remember to dial 911 for your emergency needs to ensure the most expedient assistance."
DCHS also provided an update Thursday, saying:
"Holding true to our commitment of open communication between Dickinson County Healthcare (DCH) and the community, please take a few moments to read this important update."
"We received a notification from Beacon Ambulance service that as of [9:00 a.m. Thursday] they will no longer transfer patients outside of a 30 mile radius of our hospital. We respect Beacon’s business decision as we ourselves know that changes to daily operations are sometimes necessary."
"DCH is taking all steps necessary to ensure the safe and timely transfer of our patients to facilities that provide the level of care that is needed."
"As part of our plan to continue to provide transfer services to our patients, Integrity ambulance service has pledged additional support to accommodate our needs. Integrity has historically shared the patient transfer duties with Beacon, and with a six ambulance fleet, they are well equipped to care for all of our patient’s needs. We anticipate the level of care to continue at a very high level and the patient experience will be seamless."
"Neighboring health systems have also offered support should we need it and we are very thankful that we have seen a collaborative outpouring of effort to provide great care for our patients and our community."
Integrity Care EMS also responded to the announcements from the other organizations, saying:
"We at Integrity Care EMS are aware of the recent announcement by Beacon Ambulance Service and their plans to discontinue 911 and emergency response service to the local community."
"Integrity Care EMS has been providing services to Dickinson County and its surrounding areas since September of 2016. We initially began providing these vital services with three ambulances as well as a passionate and dedicated staff. Our organization has since grown to include a six-ambulance fleet and an intercept unit, as well as several additional EMTs and Paramedics to meet our staffing goals".
"As the needs of the community grow, so will Integrity Care EMS to meet those needs."
"We respect the decision of Beacon Ambulance Service to discontinue their services and we wish their employees well during this difficult time."
"We would also like to thank the local community for their support and look forward to serving your emergency medical needs for many years to come."