Flushing council votes to fund new EMS service

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 10:51 PM EDT
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FLUSHING, Mich. (WNEM) - Flushing City Council voted to fund the creation of an EMS service during a special meeting Monday night.

“Now tonight begins the real work, the administrative work, to begin getting the personnel, the equipment, and get this thing going as quick as possible,” said Flushing Mayor Joseph Karlicheck.

In a 3-to-1 vote and one abstention, the Flushing City Council voted to fund the EMS service through a special assessment and not put it on a special election ballot.

Some residents are not in favor of this decision.

“When it involves special assessments and extra money out of your pocket, at this time, I think that they’re asking a lot of the citizens of Flushing to just accept this and I still think that it should have come to a vote,” said Flushing resident Anita Anderson.

Anderson said she is not against the EMS service, but she believes the decision on how to fund the service should have been placed on a special election ballot for the residents to decide.

However, Flushing resident Randi Hart said that process would have caused the taxpayer even more money.

“If a special election was held, it would cost more to run a special election than for the salaries for those paramedics and EMTs to be on staff,” Hart said.

Karlicheck said putting the initiative on the ballot would delay a service the community needs now.

“If we do put it on the ballot, it will require a special election. The earliest we can get it will be in November and by the time taxes become – assuming that it passes on the ballot – taxes will become collected, and then by the time that the unit would roll out, it would probably be June of next year. And meanwhile, we’re looking at increased responses by our police officers, decreasing our degradation of the EMS system continues, and how that will impact the health and safety of our citizens,” Karlicheck said.

Karlichek said he expects the EMS service to be up and running by September.

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