Exeter ambulance returns to Farmersville
By Mackenzie Carmen
exeter- The Exeter District Ambulance, also known as EDA, decided to place one of their units in Farmersville once again, with the hopes of being able to respond to more calls in Visalia. Starting July 1, one of the two units already stationed in Exeter will move to Farmersville part time.
The unit will remain in Farmersville each day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. unless it is needed back in Exeter. After 9 p.m., the unit will resume service in Exeter until 9 a.m. the next day, when it heads back into Farmersville. There are no changes to the units in Lindsay, Lemon Cove nor the second unit in Exeter. They will all remain at their posts for 24 hours.
During the report from the district manager, board member Tony Miller mentioned that he wanted to move an ambulance back into Farmersville with the hope that this move would also produce a few extra calls out of Visalia for EDA.
Interim District Manager TJ Fischer stated that Exeter already had one of the fastest response times for Farmersville, and that it is very rare to have both of their ambulances parked at the Exeter station waiting for calls. But, his biggest concern was leaving first responders in the heat as they wait for calls to come in.
With temperatures sizzling over 100 degrees this past week, Fischer included in his report that some of the district’s vehicles are currently having issues with their AC units. One unit may even need up to $10,000 in repairs for a completely new AC .
Miller, along with board members Darinda Kunkel and Rob Hubbard agreed that they needed to find a way to keep drivers cool as they sit and wait for calls. Miller said he would speak to Farmersville Police Chief Mario Krstic to see if there were any accommodations for the paramedics as they wait. Another suggestion was to have the paramedics sit in local businesses as they waited for calls to come in.
When Hubbard mentioned that paramedics had to wait in the heat when they were stationed in Farmersville in the past, Miller said, “But I think they chose to do that. So, I’d like to see what that accommodations are there. If there are accommodations there, then they don’t have to sit in the rigs the whole time.”
As of now, there is no determined location for the EDA’s EMTs that will be posted in Farmersville.
As the discussion drew closer to a motion, Jackie Paull who now works for LifeStar in Tulare and who does not serve on the EDA board, stated from her seat in the crowd that the other providers have asked Fischer to put an EDA ambulance back in Farmersville. She also mentioned that her Tulare units and Visalia units had to respond more often to Farmersville because the Exeter units are posted in Lemon Cove.
“It would help the system if that ambulance was back in Farmersville,” said Paull.
Being able to cover more calls in Visalia was likely the primary goal of placing a station in Farmersville. Both Miller and Kunkel agreed that moving an Exeter ambulance into Farmersville would be beneficial to EDA because they could take more Visalia calls since their unit would already be closer to Visalia. This would likely generate more revenue for EDA.
EDA responded to between 54 and 64 requests in Farmersville between January and May. EDA responded to between 54 and 67 requests in Visalia in the same time period. But, with the ambulance being stationed in Farmersville, the number of calls EDA could respond to in Visalia may increase. EDA will be reviewing the number of calls the unit receives in the next two months to determine a long term position for the ambulance.