LANSING — State Rep. Beau LaFave today called on House and Senate budget negotiators who are finalizing the Department of Health and Human Services spending plan to include funding for the Upper Peninsula Emergency Medical Services (UPEMS).
LaFave, of Iron Mountain, said the House draft of the state budget did not include the $182,000 to fund the EMS operations, and as a result many rural communities will not have adequate emergency medical care. The Senate version did include the funding.
“As House and Senate conference committees work to reconcile differences between the two budget amounts, I urge them to restore funding so UPEMS can continue to save lives in the Upper Peninsula,” LaFave said.
This funding pays for an annual continuing education seminar in the Upper Peninsula for EMS drivers. Last year 500 UP EMS personnel attended. It also will fund vehicle inspections to ensure the ambulances are safe on the roads.
“I cannot imagine a more appropriate way to spend $180,000,” LaFave said. “We will not be forgotten about while I’m in the Legislature.”
The House-Senate conference committee will continue work on a reconciliation budget in the coming week.