Police and Fire Commission approve new contract for ambulance services for City, Portage County
By Joe Bachman
STEVENS POINT — On Monday, July 29, Police and Fire Commission members approved an agreement between the City of Stevens Point and Portage County for continued ambulance services.
The four-year agreement will see Portage County and the City of Stevens Point work together to provide emergency services throughout the region. The contract is for four ambulances with a fully equipped fifth ambulance to stay in Stevens Point.
“Once we got through all the red tape and to the topics, I truly believe the county wants to do the right thing.” said Stevens Point Police Chief Robert Finn to Police and Fire members.
The 36 page contract also makes way for an annual meeting with service providers for potential equipment replacement and upgrades when needed. This ultimately leads to more flexibility for this matter.
“They were receptive to the idea of capital improvements, as we know we’ve had some issues with some ambulances and some equipment that we can’t quite seem to get replaced,” said Assistant Fire Chief Joseph Gemza.
According to Treasurer Corey Ladick, the agreement will see an increase in the budget, which means a $30,000 increase via 2019 budget amendment.
“I think everybody at that table had the best interests for the citizens of Portage County in mind.” said Mayor Mike Wiza. “Stevens Point provides the best and only two-paramedic service to Portage County; and that’s what the key was. Everything that was negotiated was based on that.”
“In the end, I think we have a pretty solid contract.” he added.
Final approval for the contract will go through Finance and then Council this month.