On Wednesday, Mayor Jim Forthofer signed the contract officially making LifeCare Ambulance Inc. of Elyria the ambulance service for Vermilion and Brownhelm Township, replacing North Central EMS. The signing was held at the new ambulance garage at 1011 Douglas Street.
Vermilion City Council voted unanimously to purchase the Douglas Street building from Norwalk Area Health Care at a Special Vermilion City Council Meeting on November 15, 2018. A third reading of an ordinance, Ordinance 2018-82, authorized the mayor of Vermilion to enter into a purchase agreement to purchase property for new ambulance services. The building cost the city around $180,000. A previous consideration to house the ambulance service in a new fire station proved to be too costly, and housing the service at Vermilion Fire Department Station 2 was decided to be too unsuitable of a location.
While the contract with North Central EMS provided ambulance service to Vermilion, Brownhelm Township and Vermilion Township, with the townships contributing a subsidy, Vermilion Township had created its own ambulance service. As a result, the fees for Vermilion and Brownhelm Township increased, promoting the city to seek alternative services.
Mayor Jim Forthofer worked out an agreement with LifeCare Ambulance Inc. for less expensive services for the city and Brownhelm Township, under the condition that Vermilion would provide an ambulance service facility. If the city continued using North Central EMS, it would cost an additional $100,000, according to the mayor. LifeCare Ambulance Inc. agreed to provide coverage for a total of $100,000 a year.
The new ambulance garage is now known as Life Care’s Station 7. LifeCare Ambulance Inc. will lease the building for $1 a year, and will pay utilities. A new call box has been installed at the station, mostly for individuals suffering from opioid addiction and overdoses.