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North Memorial Ambulance expanding fleet

More demand and a growing community have prompted North Memorial Ambulance Service - Alexandria to add an ambulance to its fleet.

“We are adding an additional truck for eight hours per day, seven days per week,” Scott Johnson told the Echo Press.

Johnson, manager of the local ambulance service, said the decision to expand came down to community need.

“We do a fair amount of inter-facility transfers where we take patients from Douglas County Hospital to hospitals all over the state. When we take that one ambulance out of the rotation and put them on that transfer, it’s really gotten to the point that we need additional ambulances to cover peak times.

The peak time was determined to be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and coverage seven days a week is the goal.

Johnson said they’ll begin staffing the ambulance four days a week starting August 4 and then seven days a week beginning in October.

“We looked at a lot of data when are the peak times to accommodate them… it’s something we’ve been working on for quite some time,” Johnson said.

Adding a new rig means new hires, too.

There are plans to hire an additional full-time paramedic and full-time emergency medical technician (EMT), plus part-time EMTs.

Currently, there are 20 people working for North Memorial Ambulance - Alexandria – a mix of EMTs and paramedics.

There are two ambulances staffed locally, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Two more ambulances are also stocked and ready to be used if necessary.

In 2013, North Memorial Ambulance - Alexandria responded to 2,800 requests for service.

The goal is to have an ambulance crew en route from the time a call is dispatched is two minutes. Generally, local crews are en route in less than one minute, Johnson said.

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

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