2014-01-23 / Views


Dear Editor,

As Hiawatha Township supervisor, I want to express my support of Rapid Response One EMS. This entity is bringing with them a higher level of emergency health services to all townships in Schoolcraft County.

This benefits all townships economically. We should be working together to make this a better community and welcoming young professionals who are willing to locate in our area. EMS and fire services need to work together efficiently in order to avoid casualties to our residents and/or their homes.

Rapid Response One EMS would be an asset to our communities. I would ask that the “ambulance ordinance” to block this enterprise from operating within the city limits be voted against.

Gilbert Baker


Dear Editor,

I read the article about a proposed ordinance to designate public safety as the primary responder for ambulance service in the city. First I want to be clear that I am not criticizing the public safety department or the service they provide. I am an EMT and I have had the privilege to work with them several times and to train with them. They are all excellent dedicated professionals.

However, I find the timing of this strange. I think ALS service would be a real benefit to our community. In the past, the city has chosen not to take the steps necessary to obtain this designation. There are, I am sure, some significant costs involved for training and equipment to get the ALS designation.

So now that a private company is willing to take on these costs instead of the city or rather its citizens incurring these costs, the city wants to become ALS licensed? Why is this? Again, the timing seems odd. I don’t know the owners of the new ambulance service, but if they are able to achieve licensure, I assume they are qualified and have the necessary equipment to provide this service to our community.

I think the city needs to consider this move carefully to ensure they are not discouraging a private business that will employ a number of trained professionals. These would be good paying jobs; this is a service our community will benefit from and there would be no added costs to the city. However, should the city enact this ordinance, the tax payers would incur the continuing costs of maintaining licensure.

Again, the people at public safety are all great professionals, highly trained and motivated, so this is not a slight to them, but in a time when the city is making budget cuts, shouldn’t we at least look at an opportunity to get a valuable needed service at no additional cost to the city?

At the very least, the city council should table this issue until all the potential costs are identified, any impact to public safety staffing can be evaluated against any potential benefits of having a private business provide this service.

This is a decision that will have a lasting impact on our city and the council should consider it in that light.

Jim Howard


To the Editor:

I want to state how appalled I am that, once again, those few people who have a little bit of power in this community are thwarting economic growth. Over the years, I have watched over and over again new enthusiastic business entrepreneurs approach our city and be rejected from opening operations for one reason or another. Reasons that often seem to have personal agendas attached to them.

The small improvements this community has made have moved at a snail’s pace and with considerable effort. Whatever happened to free enterprise? Why are we limiting economic growth? Why would we not want to make this a better place to live, play and work?

We are a private entity, willing and able, to invest significant funds to make health care in our area comparable to any other city in this country. We are not using taxpayer dollars to fund their operation unlike the city ambulance. We are elevating emergency services to a whole new level. We are bringing you, the public, “standard of care”.

If I ever have the need for emergency medical services, I would expect to receive the highest level of care possible. I would expect to receive appropriate medical attention at the scene, prior to arriving at any hospital.

Many years ago, my sister went unconscious while at work. The ambulance (Manistique EMS) was called as well my parents. My parents arrived at her work, waited a considerable length of time for the ambulance to show up and finally drove her to Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital themselves. I have heard of such instances many, many times since then. Why is it taking so long for Manistique EMS to respond to emergencies? Maybe because they are not at the station and staffed 24/7/365? We will respond to your emergency within minutes of receiving the 911 dispatch call.

I support Rapid Response One EMS and applaud the highly trained paramedics and EMT’s we have employed. They are certainly dedicated to this profession. It is my opinion that the city council of Manistique should not be passing an “ambulance ordinance” to block any and all emergency services from operating within the city limits.

Please voice your opinion at the next city council meeting on Jan. 27.


Dr. Shelly Baker-Keskimaki

Dear Editor,

To the city council: I am not sure why city council broadcasts its meetings. If it is required, good. The public deserves to know how their elected officials are doing their job. If it is just a desire to be open, well that would be a pleasant surprise.

Either way, a suggestion, if you are going to do it, do it so your public can hear.

Use the microphones, if you don’t have enough, get some more.

We are not able to get out and attend meetings, but we are interested in how and why our city makes its decisions. Not rumors or second hand but from the people elected to do the job.

Please use the microphones, speak up, you have an audience and we’d like to hear how you do the job you are elected to do.


Ila Manning


Dear Editor,

Setting the record straight:

I would like to start off by informing the residents of Manistique and surrounding communities that the city of Manistique EMS service does an excellent job of providing emergency medical services at the license level they are currently operating under – Limited Advance Life Support Service (LALS). With that said, it’s not the quality of care but the standard of care in question.

An Advanced Life Support service is an ambulance service with a paramedic on the ambulance doing patient care when they arrive on scene. Most agencies clearly state on the side of their ambulance “Advanced Life Support”. The paramedic that meets you and/or your family member should stating their name and what license level they hold in the State of Michigan.

Rapid Response One EMS, Inc. announced to the local emergency leaders at a Medical Control Authority meeting in December that we were opening an Advanced Life Support Service and that we were willing to work and train with other EMS agencies and in no way are we putting other EMS workers and/or public safety workers out of jobs.

Rapid Response One EMS Inc. was blindsided when we went to the city council meeting on Jan. 13, where Public Safety Director Ken Golat introduced an “ambulance ordinance” to effectively prevent any other ambulance service from operating within the city limits.

This ordinance also states that the public safety director has to be notified of any new service. Why are they deciding to control this industry now that they have competition? Do you want to settle for something less than the best?

If this passes, the residents of the city of Manistique will be limited to what the city is willing to offer. At this time it is only Limited Advance Life Support and they have been heard to say “good enough is good enough” for our city.

Do we really want to be the last and only county in the State of Michigan without Advanced Life Support Services?

I urge you to attend the next city council meeting on Jan. 27 to voice your opinion and stop this monopoly from happening to our community!


Tracy Keskimaki,


Dear Editor,

If I have a heart attack or stroke, I would want an ambulance service that could take care of me right away, then transport me to the hospital.

Mary Kennedy


Dear Editor,

Two recent articles printed in the Pioneer Tribune last week have me very upset. I’m referring to the articles which involve our local emergency medical service and a new ambulatory service called Rapid Response One.

It seems that once the city found out that an advanced medical service was interested in providing emergency services in our area, they decided to create an ordinance to prohibit them from doing so.

Personally, I believe that Schoolcraft residents should have a say in how they receive their emergency medical care. I don’t feel as though a board of city representatives comprised of seven members could have all of our best interest at stake.

I for one, if needed, would want the most advanced level of care if a loved one, friend, family member, co-worker, or myself, incurred a medical emergency. I don’t want a level of care that is deemed “good enough” or “limited”. We are ultimately the ones that have to pay for this service and I want the best care I can receive in a trauma situation. Schoolcraft residents should want the same.

I urge you to inquire, get the facts and tell your city members that we as citizens have a right to choose our care, not them. Please attend the city council meeting on Jan. 27, and let your voice be heard.

One day you may need the care of an advanced medical responder.

Jodi Wilson


Dear Editor,

Tell me again what country we live in! A new business (Rapid Response One, a new and better ambulance service) wants to come into our city to better our health care. I can’t believe the city council would even consider putting one man in charge of whether a new business can enter the city limits.

Tell me again why we need a city council then.

Rapid Response One is an Advanced Life Support Service, it will be staffed 24/7/365 days a year with paramedics and EMT’s on call. Rapid Response One can do more to save lives and administer medications than a basic ambulance service for on the spot care.

According to some rumors going around (and there are many) the public safety are hired to do police and fire work, and they do a very good job. Nobody is trying to take their jobs away.

Please talk to people who know what’s going on and get their facts straight. Support Free Enterprise!

Diane Baker


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I guess my first question is

I guess my first question is how will the billing work for this company? It is a private health care company, looking to make a profit. If I don't have insurance will I still be able to use this service? Multiple times? I know some friends, family members with chronic health conditions and have used Manistique EMS several times over the years and multiple times in one month. If I am unable to afford this service, what happens then? Will you be required to transport me, provide care, no matter what my insurance, or financial situation is? With out payment?

It seems to me that the city

It seems to me that the city of Manistique is run by a few individuals with a big ego.