Hobart reopens Station 2 with ambulance, 2 firefighters
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent March 7, 2013 10:14PM
Updated: April 9, 2013 12:08PM
HOBART — An ambulance and two firefighters will be operating out of Fire Station 2 on Old Ridge Road beginning Friday, bringing new life back to the station that was closed for almost 18 months.
Mayor Brian Snedecor said the service will be available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., which are the hours of highest demand for ambulance needs, at first. It will primarily serve residents on the west side of the city.
Councilman John Brezik, D-5th, who worked with the mayor to bring an ambulance back to the station, said times could fluctuate.
Snedecor said a third ambulance that was used for backup service was able to be diverted to the station on Old Ridge Road after the fire department purchased an Advanced Life Support fire truck in the beginning of the year. He said that resulted in the ALS truck and a rescue truck housed at Station 1 at 400 E. 10th St., an ambulance at Station 3 at 710 Colonial Drive and an ambulance at Station 4 at 7710 S. Colorado St.
“We thought, why not use an ambulance at Station 2 now that we have the ALS truck, which can respond to any medical emergency,” Snedecor said.
“This probably makes us more efficient in medical responses than the city has been in about 20 years, with the ALS truck and three ambulances,” he said.
Snedecor said having an ambulance close by was a major concern of people who approached him and Brezik when the city began looking into possibly hiring a private ambulance company to take over emergency medical calls.
“John and I felt like this was something we needed to be vigilant about,” Snedecor said.
Brezik said the about 80 percent of calls to the fire department are for ambulance services.
Snedecor said some overtime will be involved, but Fire Chief Brian Taylor was able to maneuver manpower to keep overtime at a minimum.
Both Snedecor and Brezik said city officials will continue to look at the ambulance service in the city to determine if maintaining EMS through the fire department is the best, most efficient choice or if it should go with a private ambulance service.
“If the city can continue to maintain its ambulance service, that’s our first choice. We won’t make any preconceived decisions. We want to do the right thing for the people,” Snedecor said.