PORT JEFFERSON – Members of the Perry Port Salem Ambulance District Board have entered into a contract with Sprit Medical Transport LLC to provide EMS protection through the end of the year.
In early September, members of the board approached Spirit about providing mutual aid to the entire coverage area. The city of Sidney’s administration asked the board to become less dependent upon their taxed staff to cover emergency medical calls in the Perry Port Salem District. Of the 194 calls in the district through mid-September, 111 had to be primarily handled by either Sidney Fire or Anna EMS.
Spirit began providing mutual aid to Perry Port Salem and the ambulance board subsequently awarded Spirit a contract in late September to be the primary agency on all 911 calls in Salem and Perry Townships through the end of 2021.
With the agreement, when there is a call in the district, the Shelby County Sheriff’s office is dropping tones for both Perry Port Salem and Spirit. If any staff from the Perry Port squad is available, they can also respond. In turn, Spirit is sending its closest ambulance to any EMS calls in the area from either of its Shelby County stations.
“The day of being totally dependent on an all-volunteer staff to meet the needs of a community around the clock unfortunately have gone to the wayside,” said Spirit Medical Transport, LLC, President/CEO Brian K Hathaway. “There is a big shift in many parts of the nation to volunteer organizations of the past moving to part-time and full-time paid departments to meet the evolving needs of communities. With fewer people becoming involved in healthcare at all levels, the need to adapt and overcome are ever prevalent, especially in these unprecedented times.”
In hopes of securing additional funding to address EMS staffing issues for the ambulance district, members of the ambulance board have a 2-mill additional levy on the Nov. 2 ballot.
Spirit is providing personnel to the Houston Rescue Inc., which also suffered from similar staffing shortfalls in all of 2020. Since Spirit first began providing staffing to Houston Rescue in January 2021, only on two occasions was mutual aid required.
“At the end of the day, it shouldn’t matter what the name says on the side of the ambulance when someone needs medical assistance. As dedicated professionals, the Spirit team is here in Shelby County to provide a service to the community and treat those we are blessed to serve like family,” Hathaway said.
Spirit is a family owned and operated business with a footprint in Shelby County with a satellite station at Fair Haven for nearly 10 years.