Oscoda County EMS Budget Shortfall Addressed By Paramedics, Commissioners

"We’re not closing the doors,” says Lanita Olsen, Chair, Oscoda County Board of Commissioners.

It’s a financial struggle involving Oscoda County’s EMS that has been ongoing for years.

The community is worried that money problems may cut service completely.

A millage has helped fund the county’s EMS for 16 years but it’s about to expire.

Complicating the situation, an auditor found a budget shortfall a few months ago that they say is only expected to grow.

The Oscoda County Board of Commissioners says the county is $170,000 short for last year.

On top of that, the board accepted the resignation of the EMS director Tuesday, June 27.

The board chair says they are working to keep EMS in the county and working with first responders to find solutions.

"We know we need an EMS in Oscoda County and we will do anything within our means and possible to keep our doors open to our EMS,” Olsen says.

"We feel a lot better,” says Christopher Wilson, paramedic in Oscoda County and union steward. “It sounds like we are going to be opening up some more communication with the commissioners. We are also going to be doing more PR events to propose or promote our millage."

The board chair says two commissioners will operate as interim EMS directors and will meet with staff in the coming weeks.

No specific meeting date is scheduled yet.

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