Rock Island residents are hoping to have an EMS station located in their area.
According to EMS director Brian Jennings, a petition is circulating in the Rock Island/ Campaign/ Midway area urging residents to sign a petition supporting a new EMS station in the upper eastern part of Warren County.
Warren County currently has four EMS stations located on Magness Drive (Station 1), on Manchester Highway in Morrison (Station 2), on Old Smithville Highway (Station 3) and Highway 8 and Shellsford Road (Station 4).
Jennings brought maps to a county Health and Welfare Committee meeting showing where ambulances have been dispatched in the last year. The majority of dots were located within the city of McMinnville with a high concentration in the Morrison and Centertown areas.
A second map had dots representing each ambulance station in the county. Circles were drawn around the dots showing a six-minute response time from the center of the circle to the outer edge of the circle. According to the map, the response time to Rock Island would be approximately 12 minutes if the ambulance left from Station 1.
Commissioners questioned the placement of Station 2 in Morrison since it is so close to the county line. The ambulance will cross the county line – and leave its coverage area – in about three minutes. Had the station been placed closer to Smartt Station, the six-minute drive time would have been to the edge of the Warren County-Coffee County line.
Jennings said the cost of building Station 4 was approximately $160,000. He said that cost did not include purchasing land. Jennings also said the cost does not include utilities such as gas, water and electric. He said the cost of staffing a 24-hour ambulance service would be $220,000, which is a recurring cost yearly.
Commissioners said even though they understand residents wanting an ambulance service closer to their area, they do not see a great need at this time. According to the first map, ambulances are not dispatched to that are often. They did say they will look into the possibility further, however.
Warren County EMS is a government agency responsible for all 911 medical calls in Warren County, as well as vehicle extrication and other specialized rescue needs. In addition to standard emergency medical response, Warren County EMS also provides support for all Warren County fire departments during structure fires and provides emergency hospital-to-hospital patient transfers.