MUNCIE, Ind. (NewsLink) — The Muncie Fire Department held an open house Monday Night at Fire Station Three to show off new ambulances that will take to the streets. The move that gives the city their own fleet of ambulances has been met with both praise and controversy.
EMS Chief Rachel Clark was among those answering questions about the new ambulances that will soon be taking to the streets. A big question: how are these vehicles different from the ambulances currently on the roads?
"We do have a couple things that are not standard basic life support. However, we will have paramedics that will respond with us. They will have any additional gear that will make it equal to what Delaware county has," said Clark.
Fire Chief Eddie Bell supports ambulances in the Muncie Fire Department. He says this project is one that will help out Delaware County EMS.
"This is kind of a horse shoe and one train can come by and completely block out the city of Muncie. A lot of times they have to have other units come in to be able to to take care of the needs of everyone in the city of Muncie," said Bell.
But not everyone agrees. On the City of Muncie's Facebook page, people voiced their concerns saying the city is trying to fix an unbroken problem and the city should use the money elsewhere.
Others like Troy Ingriam are still undecided.
"I still want to talk to some surrounding communities that have the same fire based EMS to see how they deal with some of the problems Muncie is going to come across trying to start a new EMS service," said Ingriam.
With all of the debate back and forth, Chief Bell hopes everyone on both sides of the issue can find a common ground.
"We're not trying to turn this into a political football like it has been. We started out with this just trying to make sure the Muncie citizens have the best service they could possibly have."
Monday's open house was the second of three open houses. The third and final open house will be held Tuesday night at Fire Station Two from 4-7 pm.
Officials say there are a few more hurtles to jump through before the ambulances will be on the streets. They hope the vehicles will be operational by next month.