Emergency Management and EMS to Move to Sheriff’s Office
City Times Staff
County Board Approves Emergency Management Reorganization
STEVENS POINT — The Portage Co. Board of Supervisors have approved a plan to move the county’s emergency management and medical services to the Sheriff’s office.
This action will take effect immediately.
“This is a great opportunity to blend the expertise and assets of the County’s largest emergency response organization with the other county level emergency oriented functions,” said Sheriff Mike Lukas. “It leverages our ability to better plan, respond, mitigate, and recover from disasters, and allows us to better coordinate and administer programs and contracts.”
Prior to the announcement, the county’s EMS and emergency management were run together out of a separate department. With this change, each will be reorganized into their own division inside of the Sheriff’s office, independent of each other.
According to the sheriff’s office, “the addition of emergency management will give the office the capability to coordinate disaster responses, better plan for and recover from natural and man-made emergencies, and support municipalities in Portage County with their needs in times of crisis or tragedy.”
The EMS Division will be responsible for administering the County’s several ambulance provider contracts, managing the emergency medical responder network, providing EMS related training and programs, and operating the County’s Special Events Unit.
According to Lukas, the public will see no noticeable change.
“The transition will be seamless, and operate all in the background,” said Lukas. “I anticipate that we will see system improvements and benefits fairly quickly once we finalize our move.”