CHESTERTON | The Chesterton Town Council unanimously approved ambulance service with a private-public partnership between the Chesterton Fire Department and Superior Ambulance Service.
Fire Chief Mike Orlich said at Monday's Town Council meeting the partnership provides for the growing needs of residents without any expense to Chesterton.
“When we started out with this project two years ago, our goal was to increase the level of service we provide the residents of this town," he said. "After looking at costs we realized the challenges and late last fall the council asked us to look into a public-private partnership. Superior stepped up and helped with this offer."
Mary Franco, vice president of business development for Superior, said it has a single 24-hour ambulance located at the Franciscan Emergency Center in Chesterton. They have been in existence since the 1950s and have had public-private partnerships with municipalities for nearly 40 years.
“What we are proposing to the town of Chesterton is a dedicated ambulance available 24-hours a day that is located in the Chesterton Fire Station," Franco said. "They will take their direction from the fire department and the 911 center.”
The existing Franciscan ambulance will become a secondary ambulance available after the first one goes out, and there is also air support available, Franco said.
Recommending a June 1 start date, Orlich said, “They are willing to split the proceeds with us after their costs are met, 50-50 by reimbursing us with housing, assisting, supervising their personnel and other miscellaneous expenses we incur.”
Orlich said patients will be transported to whichever hospital in the area they wish to go to— Porter Hospital, Franciscan Emergency Center, or hospitals in Michigan City. Town Council member James Ton made the motion to approve the contract which was met with unanimous approval.