Regional ambulance service proposal on hold for now

ELLSWORTH — A proposal for Hancock County to create a regional ambulance service is over.

Hancock County Commission Chairman Bill Clark as well as Hancock County Regional Communications Center Director Bob Conary and other public safety officials have had concerns about ambulance response times and availability. The commissioners discussed at their Nov. 16 meeting using American Rescue Plan Act funds to create a regional ambulance service.

However, Clark said Tuesday that public safety officials met last week, and the message was that local ambulance services are suffering from a “severe problem of staffing.”

“A regional ambulance service is not the answer — what we need to do is find ways to get incentives to the public to start applying for EMT and paramedic jobs,” Clark said.

Clark suggested the county might use American Rescue Plan Act funds to offer incentives.

No action was taken. The board may take up the issue at a future meeting.

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