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Gilbert fire pilots new response vehicle with goal of being more efficient

GILBERT — The Gilbert Fire and Rescue department will be rolling out a new vehicle to respond to medical emergencies later this month.

The department announced that starting on Jan. 30, it will begin piloting a low-acuity response vehicle. The pilot program will last 12 months and will track the effectiveness of a two-person response model for the less critical medical needs.

According to a press release, the unit will respond in a smaller rescue vehicle and will be staffed by a paramedic and an EMT.

“We looked at our data and realized that not every call for service requires a four-person fire crew response,” said Gilbert Fire and Rescue Chief Jim Jobusch in a press release. “Every call is important to us and the two-person crew is dedicated to providing the same high-quality service that is expected from our department, just in a more efficient manner.”

According to the department, by tailoring the response to reflect the needs of the citizens, the department can achieve several long term goals including increasing the availability of the four-person crew to meet the more critical needs of citizens, maintaining a four-minute response time and effectively managing the needs of the community while keeping an eye on fiscal responsibility.

“The pilot was developed using historical data,” said assistant fire and rescue chief Bob Badgett in a press release. “We were able to identify when, where and how frequently the less acute call types were occurring. We feel confident that this pilot will provide the information needed for us to have a clear understanding of the effectiveness of the program as we move forward.”