MUNCIE, Ind. -- After years of negotiating, Muncie Fire Rescue and Emergency Medical Services are now up and running.
City leaders say this is a way for Muncie to expand medical services while continuing to work with Delaware County.
Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler says this new service will provide more coverage in areas with slower response times.
“The biggest thing as we started to look, we had a lot of problems in certain areas within the city as far as response times,” said Muncie Fire Chief, Eddie Bell.
Muncie Fire Rescue and EMS are now in service. But they aren’t calling it a split from Delaware County.
“What it was is us just improving the services and bringing additional services in,” said Mayor Tyler.
Both Tyler and Bell agree that trains were one of the biggest factors when it came to response times. That is why they developed a mutual aid agreement between the city and the county to designate areas that need services most.
“We worked out the different color zones we wanted to manage and maintain with what we can provide. Then we offered Delaware County EMS zones for them to provide services in,” said Mayor Tyler.
The service kicked off Monday morning. Chief Bell says they made approximately 40 runs, including transports. There are three ambulances at the seven fire stations in the areas most affected by trains.
“The response times have been fantastic,” Bell said. We’ve had multiple response times of under three minutes. Which is acceptable for EMS, which is basically 8 minutes.”
Right now, they have 51 firefighters who trained as EMT's. They hope they can continue to better serve those who are living in the so-called “critical zones” in Muncie.
“I'm really excited from all the comments I am getting from the citizens who are getting these services. They’re happy with it they like it. they like the rapid response,” said Tyler.
City commissioners are reviewing a billing ordinance Monday that sets the fee schedule for city ambulances.