Life support gets an upgrade in the gateway to the UP

Michigan’s Cheboygan Life Support Systems purchases new cardiac monitors

When their cardiac monitor/defibrillators became outdated, Cheboygan Life Support Systems was faced with an expensive proposition. The units being replaced are more than decade old, and were becoming increasingly difficult to maintain.

They’re also very well-used. The organization, which operates an ambulance service in northern Michigan, currently has 19 employees and serves a population of more than 5,000 people, covering an area of 555 square miles that includes the City of St. Ignace, and the townships of Moran, Brevort, St. Ignace, Hendricks, and Trout Lake.

 “Last year, our volume was just shy of 1,300 calls. A lot of our trips are taking patients to our smaller community hospital for stabilization and then transferring them to a bigger hospital,” says Mark Wilk, area manager for Cheboygan Life Support Systems.

“A lot of the patients being transferred are having heart issues or being given medications that we have to monitor their heart on, so this new equipment is so important,” he adds.

The organization needed to replace three cardiac monitors, with a price tag of nearly $29,000 for each new unit. At Enbridge, safety is the very foundation of our business—and we recently gave a Safe Community grant of $28,840 to Cheboygan Life Support Systems to cover the cost of one of those new monitors.

“We’re extremely fortunate that Enbridge is very community-minded and funded our request for one of the three units,” says Wilk. “The grant will help provide new equipment and the latest technology to patients in the communities we serve. And it decreases the burden on the townships and the city to have to pay for that new equipment.”

Throughout the year, the organization offers a variety of training in the community, including CPR and other emergency medical training classes, and can also provide training upon request to community groups.

“Although this year is kind of unusual, we typically have about a dozen or so big events in our community throughout the summer. Including these events, it’s closer to 15,000 or 20,000 people in our service area that we look out for,” says Wilk.

Enbridge is committed to helping improve the quality of life in communities near our operations and projects, including the Line 5 pipeline and the Great Lakes Tunnel Project.

Through our Safe Community program, which awards grants for equipment, professional training or education programs to first response organizations, we’ve invested more than $12.5 million in thousands of such organizations since the program was established in 2002.

“In my experience, Enbridge has been very responsive to the community, getting out in public and interacting with people to answer questions and provide the correct information. I think it's been very beneficial to them and the community,” Wilk says.