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Mich. township looking at areawide ambulance service

HARTFORD, Mich. The Keeler Township board may be asked to join a proposed authority that organizers hope will cost local governments less money.

Keeler Township Supervisor William Kays said he's been meeting with representatives from the townships of Pokagon, Silver Creek, Wayne, Volinia and La Grange; the city of Dowagiac; and the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians about forming an areawide emergency-services authority.

The purpose of the study group is to see whether the area can get advanced-life-support service for less money by taking advantage of economies of scale.

"We're sending proposals to every ambulance entity in the area in Southwest Michigan," Kays said.

So far there's been no involvement from the Keeler Township board. Kays said he intends to talk to the board about the idea at its meeting Tuesday.

Keeler is served by Sister Lakes Ambulance, which also covers Silver Creek Township. Sister Lakes, he said, is doing a fine job but requires a $150,000 subsidy.

A lot of the problem is the small area.

"It's always going to be a subsidized service because there aren't going to be enough runs to pay," Kays said.

The theory is that increasing the area would increase the number of ambulance runs and cut the cost per run.

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