Tuesday, July 16, 2019 Elyria 73°
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Vermilion officially gets new ambulance service

  • lifecare-contract-jpg

    Vermilion Mayor Jim Forthofer, Assistant fire chief Dave Coen, and Herb de la Porte Vice President of LifeCare Ambulance outside the new station at Douglas Street in Vermilion. The station was the former home of North Central EMS and as of Wednesday LifeCare is the new service for the community. The three are talking while an alarm company is installing an emergency callbox on the station. In the event a squad is on a call the phone will route the caller to assistance.

    BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE

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VERMILION — Mayor Jim Forthofer signed in the immediate replacement ambulance service for Vermilion on Wednesday morning.

The contract made LifeCare Ambulance Inc. of Elyria the provider for the city of Vermilion and Brownhelm Township, replacing North Central EMS.

The signing took place in the ambulance garage newly owned by the city at 1011 Douglas St., to be known as Life Care’s Station 7.

The idea of changing services started in July when North Central covered Vermilion, Brownhelm and Vermilion townships. When Vermilion Township decided to provide its own ambulance service, North Central told the city and Brownhelm Township it needed to change the contract as the contract no longer covered the costs of operation with two communities.

Forthofer sought a replacement and found LifeCare to serve Vermilion as long as the city could find a home base.

So the city bought the old station on Douglas Street that used to belong to North Central for about $180,000. It now leases the station to LifeCare for about $1 a year.

Herb de la Porte, LifeCare vice president, said the company will cover the heating and other utilities, but the building costs are not a problem.

“In this particular case, this is probably the smoothest transition that I’ve ever seen both because of the city and also because of North Central’s participation and willingness to make sure everything was met,” de La Porte said.

North Central EMS was still at the station until 8 a.m. cleaning out while LifeCare was moving in.

LifeCare also has installed a new call box for people coming to the station for help. The box is mostly for people suffering from opioid addiction and wanting help from overdoses. He said it’s happened enough elsewhere for the call box to be needed.

Contact Bruce Walton at (440) 329-7123 or bwalton@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Facebook @BWalton440 or Twitter @BruceWalton.


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