ALTON, Ill. (KMOV.com) -- The Alton Fire Department has rolled out it’s first ambulance service.
For the last 32 years, Chief Bernie Sebold says firefighters have been trained as paramedics, but they didn’t have an ambulance.
The chief says since 1985 firefighters who were EMS trained responded to medical emergencies in fire truck, so the new ambulance vehicles allows them to be have all the medical equipment including stretchers, narcotics, and medical machines inside the ambulance..
“When the 911 call is received and our ambulance is available - it is the ambulance that is first dispatched,” said chief Sebold. “In the event that a subsequent ambulance call comes in and out ambulance is already on a call, then the other private company ambulances are dispatched, depending on which side of the city it’s on.”
The department’s ambulance service adds another ambulance vehicle to the city’s fleet.
Alton had already had two ambulance services - a private company and an ambulance service through the hospital.
The chief says the department averages about six medical transports a day.
Alton mayor Brant Walker says the ambulance service is a way for the city to raise revenue without raising taxes.
The department has two used ambulance vehicles, one is used as a backup apparatus (vehicle).
It costs about $160,000 for both vehicles with stretchers.
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