The Ely Area Ambulance Service Joint Powers board was founded in May 1998 with the commitment of preventing a loss of ambulance services to the area communities. The Joint Powers meets annually to determine the level of funding contributions from the governmental agencies (Ely, Winton, Morse and Fall-Lake) including Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital. Contributions are based on the State of MN demographer numbers. The contribution has remained consistent at $5.05 per person with EBCH contributing 20% of the total. EBCH owned and operated the ambulance service prior to October 1, 2008. EAAS formally organized in 2007 and officially took over the ownership and operations on October 1, 2008. The initial Board of Directors were appointed by the Joint Powers board.
On April 6, 2017, the Board of Director’s gave EBCH a 90-day notice of termination of our staffing agreement utilizing EBCH EMT’s. The anticipated day of EAAS staff taking over full operation was July 6, 2017, however, we began on Monday, June 26, 2017 due to low staffing levels at EBCH. We have been staffing one EMT and one Paramedic 24/7. Our goal is to continue 24 hour coverage with a paramedic as staffing permits. This gives our area communities and visitors a high standard of care than previously provided under the agreement with EBCH. You will see our staff in the community more as they are not restricted to staying on hospital property. This has been great for public relations as most citizens still believe we work at the hospital. As other ambulance services around the state operate in various ways from “posting” (parking on a corner or at a fire station), driving to grocery stores, etc. for food. This is normal behavior for ambulance services but a new concept to the Ely area.
EAAS covers just over 1,500 square miles, which include the following areas in both St. Louis and Lake Counties: