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MUNISING -- Alger County Ambulance Service has taken another step toward providing more advanced care.

As of Monday, two ambulances are licensed for ALS (Advanced Life Support).

ALS-licensed ambulances allow paramedics to start intravenous medications and administer other drugs before the patient reaches the hospital.  They can do almost what a doctor can do.

Compare that to before--if a 911 call came in, paramedics could only offer basic life support, like CPR.

"It's going to be a big change," comments paramedic Amber Denman.  "It's pretty neat to have one day a basic and the next day, be able to be the advance life support we've been working so hard for."

According to Undersheriff Robert Hughes, Alger County is one of the last counties in the U.P. to get ALS; and when time is a life saved, the county was well overdue to bring the ambulance service up to a standard of care that didn't exist before.

"It's immeasurable," says Hughes, "the benefits that ALS can bring.  When you can bring a paramedic to a patient's side, it's like basically bringing an emergency room in your home."

Paramedics will be able to communicate directly with the doctor and administer the same medications that he'd be able to dispense in the emergency room.  Before Denman could do that, she had to literally go back to school.

"Eighteen months of training, education and hundreds of hours of clinical that we had to do in the ER, and also right along with other life support agencies," Denman said.

Now the distance to medical facilities in Munising is no longer a consequence for the residents living in parts of Alger County and other rural areas.


The Mission of the Alger County Sheriff's Department is to enforce the laws of the state and county, safeguard life and property, prevent and detect crime, preserve the peace, and protect the rights of all citizens. We will serve all citizens with fairness, integrity, respect and compassion with out discrimination of any persons or groups.

Sheriff David Cromell
Alger County Sheriff Department
101 E. Varnum Street
Munising, Michigan 49862
(Next to the Courthouse)
Phone: 906-387-4444