Waupun Officials Suggest Possible Referendum To Cover Expanding Ambulance, Fire Service Costs

(Waupun) Waupun residents could see a referendum next year to help cover the costs of expanding its ambulance service. The city recently launched an Emergency Medical Responder program, which is currently being bolstered by trained “paid-on-call volunteers.”

Mayor Rohn Bishop says the program started to help cut down on wait times.

“We have a contracted ambulance service, that by-in-large does a good job,” says Bishop, “but they get busy taking care of inter-facility transfers for the hospital and prisons and there are often times we have 911 calls where we’re paging an ambulance from Fox Lake, Beaver Dam, or Fond du Lac and people are waiting a half hour for an ambulance to show up because there not available.”

Waupun’s fire chief oversees its EMS response. That position is held by BJ DeMaa, who had initially taken a job with Fond du Lac County but is now staying with the city. To support DeMaa’s efforts and to take its fire department to the next level, Bishop says a public safety referendum could be posed to city voters sometime within the next two years.

“The community is going to have to buy into it, they’re going to have to want it, they’re going to have to want the ambulance service,” says Bishop. “We are going to need the community involvement. We’re going to have to have lots of meetings so that people know what’s happening…I think the thing about B.J. that’s so special is he has credibility in the community and I think if he tells people ‘hey we need this’ they are going to believe him.”

Bishop will be our guest Wednesday on Community Comment. The show gets underway at 12:35pm.