Hendersonville Considers Cutting Fire Trucks From Medical Calls - WSPA.com

Hendersonville Considers Cutting Fire Trucks From Medical Calls

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HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. -

Leaders in Hendersonville are exploring cutting fire responders from routine medical emergency calls.

The idea came out of budget workshop. Councilman Roy Stephens thinks sending a fire truck and an ambulance is a duplication of services.

"If it's a real medical emergency, no one's going to the hospital in a fire truck," he said.

The county also controls the ambulances and it collects money that patients pay for the transport.

The city fire department takes in no revenue.

Now the fire department wants to increase its budget because of the rise in medical calls.

The fire chief says his trucks typically respond quicker.

The ambulances cover the whole county and may be far off, while his trucks remain close by.

Still, he and the city manager will go through dispatch calls to see if firefighter response makes a difference.

"Their primary focus is that they want this to be a data driven decision and make sure we provide an adequate level of service," City Manager John Connet said.

Councilman Stephens says safety wouldn't be jeopardized.

If an ambulance isn't available, dispatchers can easily move a fire truck to the call.

"We need to watch costs. we want to provide services but we don't want to duplicate anything," he said.

The city will meet on its budget again next week.

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