Itasca County contracts with Nashwauk City to provide emergency services to an area of 650 square miles - from Taconite to Balsam to Thistledew to Keewatin to Goodland. The ambulance service receives $40,000 a year per the contract. Every four years the county provides funds for a new ambulance - up to a certain amount. The county also provides funds for Bigfork and Deer River.
Currently, there are 18 persons on the ambulance roster. All the persons are ‘volunteer’ and paid when on a call. Karen Calaguire is the EMS coordinator and the only full time employee of the service.
The vehicles and equipment for the ambulance service are located at the Nashwauk Safety Complex, 2 Hawkins Avenue, which also houses the fire department and the police department for the city of Nashwauk.
Year to date (Jan. 1 - Oct. 23) the service has received 541 call outs with about 475 of those being 9-1-1 calls. September had a record 76 call outs. It is expected the yearly total will exceed 600 call outs, which will also be a yearly record.
Calaguire offered a note of gratitude to the volunteers and the community: “We are proud to offer emergency medical services to the community in which we live. And, we are grateful for the support we receive from our elected officials and, for the hours upon hours our personnel give in service to their neighbors.”