Kilgore considering switching EMS service to fire department

Alexandra Carter

POSTED: Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 6:18pm

UPDATED: Monday, June 30, 2014 - 12:06pm

A change to who operates the ambulance service in Kilgore could be around the corner.

Right now, the EMS service is handled by Champion EMS but the city is considering ending the contract and having ambulance services run by the fire department.

Officials say switching to a fire-based EMS service is good for many reasons, most importantly it would add jobs because the city would need five more firefighters to effectively run the EMS service which would improve the safety and overall emergency response time in Kilgore.

The cost of the extra firefighters would be offset by funding received by transporting patients.

 Assistant Chief Michael Simmons says the fire-based EMS service would also bring three additional ambulances and equipment to the city.

"All of our fire engines and fire trucks that we have will also be certified as a-l-s and b-l-s equipment which means they'll carry pretty much the same equipment as an if there's not an ambulance a major event..we still have medical equipment and fire personnel on that engine that can take care of a patient..should a need arise."

If the city adopts the change all Kilgore firefighters will become trained paramedics as well. 

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So. There is so much the fire dept is telling you that, quite frankly, is BS. If you even have an inkling of sense you would know the city is SAVING MONEY by having a FREE EMS service currently. And a good one at that. They will not touch the clinical ability Champion brings and they say they will have all their emt's certified as medics. Good Luck. The program is hard and the future of EMS requires a degree. It's not a two week first aid class. Good Luck!

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