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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

No ambulance in service until 2026 for new proposed fire territory

Updated: Feb 23

MITCHELL - FEBRUARY 22, 2024 - This the second part of the coverage of proposed fire territory in Marion Township.


The Mitchell City residents wanting a dedicated ambulance will not see an ambulance put into service until 2026 if the fire territory is approved.


Photo: File photo


Under the proposed capital improvement plan proposed under Marion Township Fire Territory a ambulance which will cost between $150,000 to $250,000 will not be purchased until 2026.


By 2027 the fire territory will pay off the transport ambulance and then lay the groundwork for 5-year replacement plan for all fire apparatus.


The proposed budget for the fire territory in 2025 is at $900,000 with personnel wages estimated at $408,000.


At the present time staffing will be 2 personnel on a rotating 12 hour shifts each day with one part time day time employee to manage scheduling, payroll and personnel.


Mitchell City Council member George James repeated his plea for an ambulance after a delay in getting an ambulance when he suffered a heart attack back in 2018.


For several years, the City of Mitchell had a dedicated ambulance stationed within the city at various locations. However, after Seals Ambulance discontinued their presence in Lawrence County the dedicated ambulance in the city ended.


On normal conditions it takes an ambulance on average 15-20 minutes to reach the City of Mitchell.


Currently, Marion Township has 14 EMT's and would like to have 28 to fully staff and cover the ambulance.


Questions was raised to make sure the ambulance was kept stationed south of the river, especially when the taxpayers of the fire territory is paying for the ambulance.


" The 911 board of Lawrence County says that if you want dispatched to EMS calls you must be able to respond anywhere in Lawrence County. I said its the same tone, if your only going to dispatch first responders and not the ambulance, what is the difference" Dane Fountain Fire Chief Marion Township responded to the question.


The 911 board sets the terms and conditions for an ambulance to be dispatched in the county.


Ambulance coverage still remains a concern, following a $4 million contract with IU Lifeline and Lawrence County Fire Territory's $854,000 budget to provide fire and ambulance coverage; EMA director Valarie Luchauer recently told the county commissioners that ambulance coverage has improved.


Currently there are three locations to which ambulance stations are located, which include the Dunn Plaza Building, IU Health EMS Building and Lawrence County Fire Territory located on Sunny Acres Drive.


Lawrence and Orange Counties are considered ambulance deserts in a recent legislative committee meeting, last week.


For breaking news and information go to lczephyr.org or like/follow the Lawrence County Zephyr Facebook page.


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