Antigo looks to Langlade Hospital to take over ambulance service
Story By Kailey Burton
ANTIGO - The city of Antigo doesn't want to run an ambulance service anymore. It's just too expensive. Instead, the city's new hospital may take over.
"We have a great ambulance service now and that's our biggest concern here is being able to maintain that... As with a lot of people our problem is financial," said City of Antigo's Mayor, Bill Brandt.
Each year it costs around 2 million dollars to run the ambulance service for Antigo and 10 surrounding townships.
About half of that is paid by the city and county through taxes... The other half is paid by the user fees.
The challenge is, those costs keep rising.
"It's a very costly service because the costs go up every year. Ambulances get more expensive, supply costs go up, gas prices rise in terms of transportation, so prices rise every year," said Dave Schneider, Executive Director of Langlade Hospital.
Schneider says, if no other provider steps forward, the hospital could take over service. They would be able to provide the same level of care without additional cost to taxpayers.
If the hospital does take over service the city of Antigo has a lot of changes to consider, including the future of the fire department. Right now the fire department runs the ambulance service, if the hospital takes over, they would become a volunteer fire department.
VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County finally got what it wanted. For fifteen years, the county had needed someone to act as a full-time Recreational Officer--someone to monitor public safety on the snowmobile and ATV trails as well as the lakes and rivers. Now, Vilas County Deputy Sheriff Randy Schneider will fill that role.
WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling received a record number of phone calls to the helpline in 2014â€"14,731 to be exact. This is a 5.6 percent increase from calls received in 2013.
Some of the callers reported having to file for bankruptcy or having thoughts of suicide. The report from the Council also calculated $47,000 as the average gambling debt of callers in 2014, and $20,000 as the median debt.
PHILLIPS - The Price County Sheriff's Office wants to find out what it needs to do to get a K-9 officer. Sheriff Brian Schmidt believes a new dog would improve the office's ability to find drugs.
The county doesn't have its own K-9 officer. However, they do turn to other departments for help.
"What we would utilize is surrounding counties, and it is at their discretion," Schmidt said. "Like Rhinelander, we utilize their dog on occasion, maybe once or twice a year. But again, it is their dog, so they have their needs come first. So if we have our own equipment, our needs are met with our equipment."
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