POSTED: Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 6:18pm
UPDATED: Monday, June 30, 2014 - 12:06pm
KILGORE, Texas (KETK) — 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 ambulance..so if there's not an ambulance available..in 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.