Jackson officials address EMS issues with adoption of two ordinances

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JACKSON – The members of the Jackson Township Council have adopted two ordinances that impact emergency medical services (EMS) in the municipality.

Township Council President Andrew Kern, Vice President Martin Flemming, Councilman Alexander Sauickie, Councilman Stephen Chisholm and Councilman Nino Borelli voted “yes” on separate motions to adopt the ordinances during the council’s Nov. 23 meeting.

No residents commented on the ordinances during the public hearings prior to the adoption of the legislation.

Ordinance 27-21 states that its purpose “is to encourage persons or entities in Jackson to use the township’s EMS when necessary, but to avoid dispatching EMS for non-emergency medical situations. … It shall be a violation … to request a dispatch of an EMS unit for a non-emergent medical response or transportation.”

A person or a business operator will be subject to a warning or to a fee depending on the number of dispatches made for non-emergency medical services, according to the ordinance.

The first non-emergency response will result in a warning being issued. A second non-emergency response will result in a $250 fine. A third non-emergency response will result in a $500 fine. A fourth non-emergency response and subsequent non-emergency responses will result in a $750 fine.

EMS dispatches that were reasonably believed to be life-threatening or an emergency at the time, but are later deemed to be non-emergency will not be counted as a violation of the ordinance.

Ordinance 27-21 does not apply to patient-care facilities, which are addressed in Ordinance 28-21.

Ordinance 28-21 states that its purpose “is to preserve and enhance the availability of first aid squad services for legitimate medical emergency situations in Jackson by regulating the use of EMS units in certain non-emergency situations.”

“Patient-care facilities” are defined as all state licensed nursing homes, rest homes, health maintenance organizations, assisted living facilities, healthcare facilities providing in-patient services, and other licensed or unlicensed medical providers with the capacity to treat 10 or more outpatients simultaneously.

Under the ordinance, all patient-care facilities in Jackson are required to own, lease, rent or have promptly available by contract, sufficient and appropriately staffed private ambulance services for the treatment and transport of patients in need of non-emergency medical care every day.

Violations of the ordinance could result in a dispatch fee of $750 being assessed by the municipality.