Pulaski Council, Commissioners to Revisit Winamac Ambulance Garage Expansion

Pulaski County Emergency Medical Services is once again asking for more room for its ambulances. EMS Director Bryan Corn told the county council and commissioners last week that the department’s trucks are outgrowing the Winamac EMS garage. “Our oldest truck, she’s really, really long,” Corn explained, “and in order to get the garage door to close, you about have to put it into the wall a little bit.”

Former EMS Director Nikki Lowry presented expansion plans last year, but county officials were concerned with the cost. Corn said he’s scaled back the proposal. “I think some of the last ideas you guys were brought had like an office out there, bedrooms,” he said. “We have two bedrooms now. With our third truck essentially being 12 hours during the day, nobody’s really there to sleep at night, other than the crew who’s working the 24-hour truck. We have two bedrooms already, so I’m not asking for all that wild and crazy stuff.”

Corn said he just wants enough space to park the trucks and maybe store patient care supplies. “Of course, we’ll probably have to put drains and things like that,” he added. “It’ll have to be heated for the medications and stuff. But just something big enough that we could put our trucks in and years down the road, we won’t have this problem.”

The challenge will be how to pay for the addition. Commissioner Kenny Becker explained that the EMS Department has no money in its building and structure budget. Council member Alex Haschel asked if there was any money available from the LOIT B tax, which is designed specifically for public safety.

Corn also offered to check with the Kankakee-Iroquois Regional Planning Commission to see if grant funding may be available. However, that would likely require a county-wide income survey to determine the county’s eligibility, something that’s proved difficult during past efforts.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Becker and Council President Jay Sullivan agreed to work with Corn to come up with some specifications for the new addition. Sullivan mentioned that he was the one who designed the building, and he still has the original drawings.