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New EMS station could become reality
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Consideration is being made to constructing a new EMS station by Warren County Memorial Airport and relocating the ambulance from McMinnville’s Fire Station Two.
“We’re in the preliminary stages on building a new station,” said EMS director Brian Jennings. “I guess you could call it a feasibility study. It will be by the airport.”
The information was presented during a county Safety Committee meeting to members Teddy Boyd, chairman, Carl D. Bouldin, Randy England, Ron Lee and Charles Morgan.
Bouldin says he was told construction would be fully funded by a grant, that there would be no cost for land because it would be located on existing county land, and all the county would have to fund would be staffing and equipment.
“Anytime you get all that other for free, it’s worth looking into,” Bouldin added.
The last time the county considered building a new EMS station was in 2013 in Rock Island. Residents presented a petition signed by approximately 650 people from the Rock Island, Campaign, and Midway areas who wanted an EMS station built there. One of those individuals offered to sell land to the county for $1.
After considering the measure for a couple of months, commissioners opted to hold off due to the cost of construction being a minimum of $250,000, which does not include the annual cost of personnel estimated to be $250,000 in the first year. Commissioners said they would revisit the idea in a few years.
Morgan says the expense would have been more in Rock Island and the area was adequately covered by existing EMS response time.
“About a year and a half ago, we had people from Rock Island ask us for an ambulance station. The money wasn’t there to build a building, even though the property was going to be donated. We were looking at half a million dollars by the time we built a building, bought two ambulances and staffing. The expense was so great and with the zones the way they are, that area was covered. We proved it wasn’t feasible.”
Consideration is being given to relocating the ambulance currently being housed at the city’s Fire Station Two, says Jennings.
“I think there’s an interest in moving an existing station in the event that we can’t afford to spring for a new one,” he said. “It’s the city’s building. It’s the city’s facility. There’s no room for growth on our end. We’re grateful, I know I am, they provided that to us, but I think when the opportunity comes for us to grow and move out, we should consider it.”
 At this point, the measure is consideration only. No final decision has been made.