Ambulance service installed at GTH

Adam Larck

Germantown Hills residents now have a new way to get emergency medical service.

The new ambulance service kicked off July 1 in the city.

“We’re running it out of our firehouse now,” Fire Chief Chip Wilmot said. “It’s going to help our response times be quicker.”

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the service was held Saturday.

Unlike a volunteer ambulance service, the new service will be staffed around the clock.

“Since it’s staffed around the clock, you don’t have the delay of volunteers stopping whatever it is they’re doing, getting in their car, driving to the firehouse, getting in the truck and going,” Wilmot said. “Since the folks are already there, once the pager goes off their already in the truck and on the way. It’s going to help our response times.”

The introduction of the service has also helped the department increase their level of life support from basic to advanced paramedic support. The differences include medications they can administer in the field, such as IVs, more ways to treat airways that may be hindered from injuries and a monitor they can use in the field.

“We’ve increased our level of care tremendously,” Wilmot said.

The service is being staffed by seven part-time employees hired by the department and a paramedic.

“On the paramedic side of it, we contracted with the Eureka-Goodfield Fire District, who had a paramedic program in place for years,” Wilmot said. “So, they are providing us with a paramedic and all the administration associated with that, all of their schooling that they have to do. “

So far, the department has has already transported about six to eight people to the hospital, Wilmot said.

“We also had a couple of other calls that were refusals,” he said. “We’ve had quite a few so far.”

Currently, the department has one ambulance in addition to the three fire trucks, rescue truck and utility vehicle.

“We’ll get another one at some point,” he said. “I’m not sure when with budget restrictions, but we will be getting another one at some point.”

Wilmot also reminded residents to call 911 when a problem arises so that they “can get dispatched properly.