Ashland Gets New Ambulance
For some time, the Boone County town has tried to get its own ambulance to respond to emergencies.
"We've realized it would be a benefit to the community to have an ambulance down here for, like you said 10-15 years," said George Zimny of the Southern Boone Fire Protection Board.
Now, after many attempts, the board and a group of citizens are working with Columbia's University Hospital to make the dream a reality.
"We did a lot of feasibility studies to see if there was enough business there to support an ambulance, explained the hospital's Brenda Jensen. "But, in the long run, it's very apparent that, whether or not the business is there or not, it's a population that's not well served by the distance between the hospitals."
The issue is whether it takes too long to get to Ashland after 911 call.
"We had that incident a few weeks ago, where the person had collapsed at Casey's next door, and had to wait for the ambulance to come from Columbia," said Bridget Early of Namste Health Care. "It probably wasn't more than 15 minutes or so, but it seemed like an eternity."
The ambulance will be on call 24 hours a day in Ashland. City funds and independent fundraising will build or buy a new ambulance center. University Hospital will pay for the paramedic on call.
The ambulance may be ready as early as April, but, if the center's not ready, the Southern Boone Fire Department will house the ambulance.