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Hudson may switch EMS providers

Change could lead to layoffs for employees

posted March 20, 2017 12:00 a.m. (CDT)
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by / Chris Vetter Leader-Telegram staff

Hudson city officials are considering switching EMS providers, a move that could lead to as many as 20 layoffs of emergency service employees.

“The city of Hudson has been in discussion over the past several months with Hudson Hospital, Lakeview Hospital and Health Partners regarding the provision of emergency medical services in the St. Croix EMS service area,” Hudson Mayor Rich O’Connor wrote in a letter posted to the city website.

At an EMS Commission meeting last week, officials stated public employees could lose their jobs if the city switches to the private provider. 

As part of the proposal, Hudson Hospital officials have said they would offer all current St. Croix EMS paramedics employment, but that plan has no role for current EMTs.

St. Croix EMS provides service to the city of Hudson, the village of North Hudson, the town of Hudson and a portion of the towns of Troy and Warren.

The Hudson City Council had not yet decided the EMS issue, O’Connor wrote. 

Council members will discuss the issue in upcoming weeks and will provide information at an upcoming public meeting. 

City officials currently are required to assure that two ambulances are available and based in the city. That requirement won’t change if the city switches providers, O’Connor said.

St. Croix EMS Chief Brandon Lyksett declined to discuss the proposal, noting negotiations are in their early stages.

Lyksett said he has a total staff of 40 employees. 

There are seven full-time workers: Lyksett, an operation supervisor, an administrative assistant and four paramedics.

Additionally, there are 24 EMTs and nine paramedics.

Lyksett said his annual operating budget is about $2.7 million. 

Residents in the EMS coverage area pay $14 per person for EMS services, generating about $370,000 annually. The rest of the budget — about $2.3 million — comes from revenue generated from calls for service.

The department handles about 1,800 calls annually, he said.

Contact: 715-723-0303, chris.vetter@ecpc.com