Having successfully advocated for $3.5 million in direct federal funding, Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin met with local leaders this week to discuss the four local projects that are to be financed with these funds.
The largest allotment– approximately $1,169,950– will go towards equipping Livingston County EMS with new ambulance technology. The advancement is a necessary one: a conventional ambulance stretcher is manually lifted into the ambulance, and such strenuous activity takes a significant physical toll on EMTs.
Congresswoman Slotkin pointed out that a “conservative estimate of the total pounds lifted by an EMS worker during a shift without power loading equipment is 4,200 pounds.” As a result 1 in 4 EMS workers suffer a career-ending back injury within their first four years on the job.
The Power Pro 2 technology is designed with a focus on enhanced safety and efficiency for both EMTs and patients. The new automatic system also has a local connection, as Livingston County EMS partnered with Stryker– a worldwide leader in medical technology– to develop and implement this technology. Livingston County Ambulances are expected to be supplied with the new equipment around May.
Todd Porter, the project manager at Livingston County EMS, said that, due to the support from the community and Congresswoman Slotkin, there would be greater employee retention among Livingston County EMS workers and further enhance their response in times of crisis.
Additionally, $750,000 will go towards a new aerial ladder truck for the Green Oak Charter Fire Department. The current truck is around 30 years old, so a replacement is a necessity.
Kevin Gentry, Chief of the Green Oak Charter Fire Department, explained that “while the voters approved a bond issue in August of 2023 to assist it, without the assistance of Congresswoman Slotkin, we would not be able to both replace this truck and continue on with our other apparatus needs.” He continued, adding that the replacement of the old truck provided an excellent opportunity to continue serving our community.”
Another $750,000 will finance the reconstruction of the Howell Depot Lot. Mayor Bob Ellis described the project as a means of providing “public spaces to gather and enjoy our city.” The proposed renovations are expansive, ranging from improved parking areas to an outdoor community ice rink.
The funding will also provide $900,000 for surveying and designing Livingston County Regional Trail Connections. Amy McMillan, who serves as director of Huron-Clinton Metroparks, cites the expansion of trails as a priority item for Southeast Michigan residents, at least in terms of recreational amenities.
McMillan detailed the project, explaining that the Livingston County Outdoor Network (LivON), supported by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, developed a plan “based on the desire to have trail connections throughout the county, and offering linkages to the regional Great Lake-to-Lake Trail, two state parks, and two Metroparks.” Additionally, the project includes plans for a pedestrian bridge over US-23.