Alcohol-Use Strained East Lansing Emergency Services Last Weekend

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Friday, November 4, 2016, 11:39 am
Alice Dreger

Photo: Courtesy City of East Lansing

East Lansing’s emergency services were strained last weekend according to data just released by the City of East Lansing, with almost half of all emergency calls involving people who were intoxicated and/or incapacitated. This confirms with hard data what ELPD Chief Jeff Murphy told ELi on Monday:

“If you were in East Lansing between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.” on Saturday, the day Michigan State played University of Michigan in football, Murphy said, “you would have heard almost constant sirens. For the most part, these sirens were not the sound of public service officials responding to serious accidents, robberies or other crimes, they were the sound of our fire department responding to help people who had become incapacitated from consuming too much alcohol.”

ELFD reports having made 184 runs from Friday evening through Sunday evening. According to ELFD’s Jody Kimble, by contrast, during the same time period from July 22-24, 2016, ELFD made 26 runs. This past weekend, “There were five ambulances and three fire trucks staffed for Saturday,” but “mutual aid still had to be used 16 times,” according to a press release from the City.

“Mutual aid” refers to when a department is so over-taxed in service calls that it needs to ask neighboring departments to come and help.

Of the 184 calls to ELFD last weekend, 159 were for Emergency Medical Services, and 88 of those “were in response to intoxicated/incapacitated patients.” (Article continues after image.)

During the same period, Friday evening to Sunday evening, the Police Department reports making 41 arrests, issuing 259 citations, and taking 177 reports. Parking & Code Enforcement (PACE) issued 1,531 citations.

Forty-one ELPD officers, supervisors, and administrative staff worked the weekend, “with extra officers working day shift, night shift, on campus during the game and overnight,” according to the City. Twelve officers also came to serve from Ingham County Sheriff’s Mounted Patrol and the Lansing Police Department.  

In today’s press release, City Manager George Lahanas spoke to the dangerous strain experienced within the City during weekends like this: “While we understand the reality of serving a college town, it is important to keep in mind the amount of resources that are tied up during these busier weekends. Not only are these weekends dangerous for those who consume too much alcohol, they can result in response time delays to serious crimes and major medical emergencies elsewhere in the community.”

Lahanas also praised the City’s emergency personnel: “I would like to thank our officers and firefighter/paramedics as well as the assisting agencies for the work they did this past weekend to keep the East Lansing-MSU community safe.”


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