906-293-8401 nbynews@jamadots.com

By Dan Hardenbrook

The Luce County EMS and Ambulance Service will be hosting a free community open house on Tuesday, August 30, from 4-6 p.m. at the Luce EMS building on Washington Blvd. The community is invited to meet the staff, ask questions and learn about the different services Luce EMS provides, tour the facility and rigs, and learn about the upcoming millage that will soon be voted on by the public.

“We would just love to have people come by and see what it is that we do,” said Luce County EMS Supervisor Joe Smithson. “The big topic of discussion will be our request of our taxpayers to help us out by increasing that millage. We want to be able to answer any questions that may pertain to that along with letting the people see what we do and meet our staff.”

As part of the event, Luce EMS will also provide free blood glucose testing and blood pressure screenings.

“We wanted to offer that service as part of the event as an added bonus,” Smithson said. “It’s interesting, when you look at preventative maintenance and health, how many times we find some minor health issues or detect something that may possibly lead to bigger things in people that have absolutely no idea. So we want to provide that screening process for people who are interested. You can also meet and discuss educational opportunities or treatment with members of our staff so we can help point you in the right direction.”

Luce EMS has been faced with many difficult challenges in recent years. The most urgent issue is a shortage of staff members, which is pushing the current remaining crew past their limits and limiting the amount of services the crew can provide, which possibly puts patients in need at high risk during emergencies.

The team has also been hit with financial burdens after losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in run revenue since the COVID-19 pandemic. The dedicated team members continue to serve the community and assist other areas despite these issues and others, including rising maintenance costs for an aging and crumbling ambulance fleet.

The upcoming millage request will seek to help fix many of these issues so that Luce EMS can continue to provide the best possible services to the area when patients and families are in need.

If you can’t attend next week’s open house, you can contact Luce EMS Supervisor Joe Smithson with any questions at (906) 293-8871.