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Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II visits an area Medstar ambulance facility

By Tanya Terry

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II recently visited the Medstar facility in Mundy Township. While there, Gilchrist discussed the State of Michigan’s $5 million First Responder Training and Grant Program, which expands recruitment and helps improve training.

Medstar President and Chief Executive Officer Kolby Miller said throughout Michigan and in the rest of the country, EMS agencies are discounting their operations or restructuring their levels of service, simply due to lack of appropriate funding and the ability to train and retain employees with competitive wages and benefits, safe vehicles and appropriate equipment.

“The support we received from Lansing and the governor’s administration has gone throughout Medstar as well as the EMS community in Michigan,” Miller added.

Miller said Medstar is one of the few organizations to invest 100% of their grant money directly into thier team members who wish to pursue paramedic training as well as using company funds to continue health care and other benefits for their team members while they take the 13-month paramedic program.

Medstar offers its employees part-time pay while they train. Therefore, they don’t lose income while working to obtain the certifications they need.

Last year, the Genesee County 911 Authority voted to recognize EMS service agreements between the company and 11 Genesee County cities and townships.

The City of Flint suspended its contract with STAT EMS before the company’s license expired on March 31. Instead, it relies on the closest private ambulances available.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s fiscal year 2024 budget proposal includes $36 million for recruiting, retaining and training EMTs and other medical first responders.

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