MUNCIE, Ind. (NewsLink)—Monday was the first day the city's new ambulances hit the roadways. It's a move that's been controversial and a bit confusing for some. Officials say there were a few minor problems first thing Monday morning, but overall, they say day one went as smooth as they could've asked for.
"We've had 17 or 18 runs today," said Chief Eddie Bell.
After more than year of officials going back and forth, fire-based EMS is now sweeping the city with the ambulances rolling out, the questions continue to roll in. We took some common questions straight to the top to both Muncie Fire Chief Eddie Bell and EMS Chief Rachel Clark.
A common misconception, the entire city won't actually be served by these new ambulances. Districts two, three, six, and downtown will be covered, but the redzone and the northwest end of the city are still under Delaware County EMS. Why these areas?
"We're strategically place throughout the city...so we've placed these fire trucks and ambulances in situations where we know we can get to these areas," said Bell.
What type of patient service will you get on board these vehicles? Officials say patients will receive basic life support (BLS) on two of the three ambulances. The other will have or advanced life support (ALS).
"Any call type that is ALS still has still has a paramedic coming. Then we have our typical mutual aid," said Rachel Clark.
City officials have claimed the new ambulances will be quick, but just how fast will they be?
"We've had multiple time frames of under three minutes today...and it's just incredible to get into those neighborhoods as quickly as we are," said Bell.
While the debate continues online, both Clark and Bell hope the community will put their differences aside.
"This is something we've done for the citizens of Muncie and we think it is definitely something that will save lives," said Bell.
"I think it's just a great thing and if people will hopefully just give it a chance, take everything, politics, everything out of it and see this is a good thing for the community," said Clark.
Both Clark and Bell say the crews on these new ambulances will continue to receive training over the next few weeks as they are still trying to fix a couple minor problems.