City to start E911 ambulance service
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The City of Presque Isle intends to start an E911 emergency ambulance service. The Presque Isle Fire Department will operate and administer the service.
According to Public Information Officer Kimberly Smith, there are many advantages for the city by operating such a service. Since the fire department trains firefighters in multiple disciplines, the firefighter can address hazardous material events, perform complicated rescues and fire prevention while on site. This can reduce the time between when an accident occurs and the time a person receives treatment.
The model of a combined firefighting and ambulance department is common throughout Maine and the United States, because of the operational efficiency and effectiveness through cross-trained personnel.
Fire Chief Darrell White pointed to other advantages as well. White said, “Offering this service puts more firefighters on shift to handle emergency calls in a timely manner. The increase in staff will result in more firefighters first on scene, faster response times with adequate staffing result in better outcomes, less fire loss, and less dollar loss from fires.”
According to White, the EMS revenue stream and not the taxpayer will fund the additional staff. This EMS revenue will then reduce the cost to the taxpayers for emergency services such as fire and EMS, he indicated.
City Manager Martin Puckett said, “This decision also means that the city will then have two dedicated advanced life support ambulances for 911 emergencies, with an additional advanced life support ambulance as a standby unit. The city does plan to continue to cooperate with TAMC and Crown Ambulance to best serve the community.”
For more information on the city and its programs and services, visit the website at http://presqueislemaine.gov.