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  • Bill Raines


Updated: Dec 29, 2022

BEDFORD - DECEMBER 29, 2022 - After more than eight years in the planning the Lawrence Fire Territory Fire/ Ambulance will go into service January 1, 2023.

Lawrence County Fire Territory will operate one Basic Life Support Ambulance with backup out of Shawsiwick Fire Station # 1 on Sunny Acres Drive

" This new ambulance service will supplement the county in responding to emergency medical calls. We will have a Basic Life Support Ambulance equipped and ready to primarily respond any medical emergency in Shawswick and Guthrie Township," said Chris Sites EMS Section Chief Lawrence County Fire Territory.

" The IU Lifeline Ambulance Service has donated us two heart monitors which was a huge cost savings to our department. IU Lifeline Ambulance Service has supported our department, and this is not a competition between the two services," said Sites.

" Our ambulances will be staffed by an Emergency Medical Responder and/or Emergency Medical Technicians. At all times an EMT will be on board our ambulance," said Sites.

IU Lifeline Ambulance has been given a four-year contract to provide ambulance coverage to Lawrence County.

One of the ambulances is four wheeled drive, only four wheeled drive ambulance in Lawrene and surrounding counties

The new service has 47 members who are trained as firefighters, Emergency Medical Responders, or Emergency Medical Technicians.

Four personnel will be operating out of Shawswick Fire Station # 1 to respond both fires and emergency medical calls. The new fire territory will not replace Shawswick Volunteer Fire Department which will still operate.

" I think this is great, we are very proud to see this fire department grow and expand in this new service. The very first goal was to build the fire station so it could be staffed around the clock, 24/7," said Millard Jones Shawswick Township Trustee. " We worked with Guthrie Township officials to bring this all together," added Jones.

Shawswick Township Trustee Millard Jones stands by one of the ambulances to respond in Shawswick and Guthrie Township begining Janaury 1st

" The last year has really been a bear, to put this together but this is all worth it, especially to see Shawswick residents with this new service. The firefighters and volunteers here work very hard,"

Shawswick Volunteer Fire Department responds to a mobile home fire in Fortt Ritner earlier this year

The Shawswick Volunteer Fire Department has responded to more than 700 runs this year. The days of providing emergency services is rapidly changing with the volunteer firefighters dwindling in ranks.

In the Indiana Volunteer Firefighter Association membership has gone from 18,000 members down to 12,000 members over the past year.

From members taking the training to be certified as firefighter takes several weeks for both written and practical training, several hours for emergency medical training has taken its toll on replenishing the volunteer fire departments in the state.

This ambulance will be the primary ambulance used by the Lawrence County Fire Territory

Firefighters/EMS personnel then must take refresher training, and respond to calls, take these members away from family. Most of these members have other jobs to support their family.

Shawswick Volunteer Fire Department responds to a structure fire near Kenray Lake earlier this year

" It is my hope that we have other volunteer fire departments join our territory, or establish their own," said Fire Chief Bobby Brown Lawrence County Fire Territory. " This is the new wave of the future as more territories and fire districts are formed throughout the State of Indiana,"

" This will help improve response times with someone already at the fire station, and if this saves one life, it is well worth it," added Brown

The new Lawrence County Fire Territory will go into service at midnight January 1, 2023.

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