August 28, 2008

Ambulance Plan Comes Out Next Week

By Marcus, Samantha

City and county officials say they'll release details of a municipally run ambulance service and related legislation Wednesday at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse campus. The public meeting is sched Wed for 6 p.m. Wednesday it Cartwright Center's Valhalla room.

News of a tentative agreement between the city and county broke just this week after more than a year of mediation between the city of La Crosse, La Crosse County and Gundersen Lutheran and Franciscan Skemp medical centers.

County Board Chairman Steve Doyle said he'll retrace the talks leading to the current proposal, and Mayor Mark lohnsrud will outline the plan for what he has called an "enhanced emergency medical service."

Information about the agreement thus far has been kept under wraps.

The public will have tune to ask questions and comment on the proposal, Doyle said. Anticipating a large crowd for the unveiling, he added they're prepared to schedule a second public hearing if necessary.

Doyle also indicated Tri-State Ambulance officials will have an opportunity to lay out any opposition to the plan at Wednesday's event.

Tri-State, which is owned by Gundersen Lutheran, has said it "will not exit the ambulance business in the city of La Crosse, even if the city enters it."

Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center spokesman Chris Stauffer confirmed staff from the medical center intend to be at the meeting.

Copyright La Crosse Tribune Aug 2, 2008

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