CHARLESTON, Ill. (WCIA) — After a four-year pause, the Mattoon Fire Department is once again running an ambulance service
Ambulances were placed back in service at 7 a.m. on Wednesday. The City of Mattoon originally took the service away to save money, but in November, the fire department won a legal challenge that forced the city to reinstate the service.
The department will run ambulance calls in a rotation with a private service. Mattoon Fire Captain Bart Owen said it will help bring more money to the department.
“It offsets the cost of the fire department for the city. So we provide a service with the same amount of employees,” Owen said. “There is a little bit of cost with the purchase of ambulances and stuff but for the money they generate, it offsets those costs.”
The department used to hire firefighters on as EMTs and train them to be paramedics. Now the city is requiring new firefighters to be certified paramedics when they join the team.