Some concerned cuts to local ambulance district will hurt response times

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by Ray Preston / News 4 and Dan Greenwald / KMOV.com

KMOV.com

Posted on September 3, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 3 at 5:36 PM

(KMOV.com) – Some are concerned that cuts to EMS in Lincoln County will put lives in danger.

The Lincoln County Ambulance District announced four bases are closing in order to save $100,000 per year. The district said it trimmed nearly $250,000 in pay cuts and has had to dip into reserve funds over the past several years. Proposition S, a ballot initiative that would have raised funds for the district through a property tax hike, was voted down in August.

Experts consider eight minutes to be a standard response time for an ambulance, but Lincoln County EMS’ response averages around 13 minutes.

“13 minutes is an eternity when you have an emergency like that,” Winfield resident Lisa Harris said. “If there’s an accident on Highway 79, which there often is, how will it take for them show up if they are called?”

The district said it will rotate ambulances to cover the whole county.

Officials said Proposition S will re-appear on the November ballot. The owner of a home worth $100,000 would pay $66 more per year in taxes if voters approve the measure.

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