Potocki Recalls Early Days of County Ambulance Service
By Brandi Makuski
The Portage Co. EMS system has come a long way, baby.
Stan Potocki, who currently serves as an elected Portage County Supervisor for the county’s 11th District, worked in the Portage Co. Sheriff’s Office for more than 40 years. He was elected as sheriff in 1997 and retired in 2003.
Potocki on Nov. 9 gave his brethren on the board a little history on the meager beginnings of the countywide ambulance service.
“In 1966 we had two people [at a time] working in the county [sheriff’s office],” Potocki said on Thursday. “The ambulance we had was a station wagon that was parked underneath the County-City Building.”
Potocki said the two deputies would patrol the county — one closer to the City of Stevens Point, the other throughout rural areas — until an EMS call came into dispatch.
“When we got a call for an ambulance, one of us would come in, take the station wagon, go out, take care of the people — well, as best we could, there was no training — put them in the ambulance and take them to the hospital,” he said. “So I think we’ve come a long way since that, to what we have right now.”
Potocki made the remarks as context to the County Board’s contentious discussion over an EMS expansion into the Village of Plover.