Earlier this week State Rep. Scott Dianda introduced legislation that would affect a very small percentage of the state's population. Six-ten thousandths percent to be exact. But to that small segment of the state effected by the bill, it could be a matter of life and death.
House Bill 5065 would exempt Ontonagon County from the licensing requirement that all ambulance services provide advanced life support on a 24-7 basis.
Ontonagon County is served by SONCO a non-profit ambulance service which has been unable to sustain 24-7 ALS services. According to Dianda's office under his bill, SONCO could provide ALS transport and transfers on a part-time basis, thus serving the more than 6.400 residents currently without coverage.
We applaud Dianda's reaction on this matter and urge quick passage in the House and Senate and call upon the governor to sign it into law.
This issue is another reminder of how government is supposed to work. While the State House and Senate act on a variety of measures that have state, national and even international impact at times, first and foremost the obligation of Senators and Representatives is to take care of their constituencies "back home."
We recall when then-Rep. Mike Lahti crafted and helped pass bills specifically designed to assist the City of Houghton's Downtown Development Authority and the Copper Country Intermediate School District.
While these had little impact outside of the Houghton-Hancock area, the result was very helpful to those of us living here.
While the stakes of the political game, on every level seem to be growing higher and higher, it's refreshing to see a small community reach out to an elected official, and to see an appropriate response.