ARIZONA NEWS

Town of Gilbert looks for feedback on expanding ambulance service

Aug 10, 2020, 4:05 AM | Updated: 7:27 am
(Gilbert Fire and Rescue Department Photo)...
(Gilbert Fire and Rescue Department Photo)
(Gilbert Fire and Rescue Department Photo)

PHOENIX – The Gilbert Fire and Rescue Department is looking to take ambulance service in their community into their own hands, but they’re looking for citizen feedback before they make a decision.

Currently, the town of Gilbert has one ambulance. The majority of hospital transports within the East Valley suburb are said to be carried out by private providers.

“A few years ago, the provider at the time filed for bankruptcy and it started to expose how vulnerable we were in that area,” Gilbert Fire and Rescue Chief Jim Jobusch told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday.

After that, the department began preparing their own reinforcements. That’s when they added the one ambulance to their fleet of fire trucks back in 2017. Now they’re looking to add more.

The town plans to hold a virtual community meeting Thursday at 5 p.m. to discuss the possible expansion in emergency response.

In the current proposal, six ambulances are believed to cover the entire Gilbert boundary, securing a critical line of service and providing the best possible care and protection for all Gilbert residents.

“When you’re working with a private company there will always be opportunities or possibilities there that your service can be degraded in some kind of way,” Jobusch added. “Right now we have very little input into the service levels, the billing rates, the training of those employees.”

If the six ambulances were approved for the Gilbert Fire and Rescue, Jobusch assured lower costs with a higher level of quality care.

Residents can tune into the town meeting virtually.

The meeting will include Town Manager Patrick Banger, Fire Chief Jim Jobusch and Ambulance Transportation Manager Tiffany Fields.

Those attending can learn more and ask questions about GFRD’s ambulance service goals. Questions can also be submitted before and during the open house.

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Town of Gilbert looks for feedback on expanding ambulance service