ST. JOSEPH, Ill. (WCIA) — Stanton Fire Protection District in St. Joseph will host a fully staffed Carle Arrow ambulance in their station 24 hours a day beginning Nov. 6.

When SJSFPD Chiefs recently reviewed their needs, they found they wanted to improve their response time for the ambulances responding to emergencies. After talking with ambulance services, they found they didn’t have enough call volume on their own to have an ambulance just for their district.

In partnership with other nearby districts, SJSFPD began researching alternative options to have an ambulance closer to their districts, including looking into Champaign-Urbana resources.

Carle Arrow Ambulance Service was the only service to put in a proposal to provide a fully staffed (paramedic and EMT) ambulance housed at SJSFPD and a non-transport paramedic fly car housed at Homer’s fire station.

Under this proposal, Arrow will fund the ambulance and staff at the station, along with all furniture and additional computer equipment needed. Both SJSFPD and Homer stations are responsible for having proper housing for the staff 24 hours a day.

The new ambulance will respond to calls in SJSFPD, Homer, Sidney, Ogden and Royal. SJSFPD said having the ambulance respond to all of these areas increased the quantity of calls to the level that was needed to make this partnership work for everyone.

SJSFPD will continue to respond to EMS calls with the ambulance and will remain an EMT-I service. SJSFPD said approximately 250 calls per year, nearly 65% of their annual call volume, is related to EMS needs.

For times the ambulance may be on another call in another district or out of the area for another reason, an ambulance will then respond from Champaign-Urbana as it does now. SJSFPD said they will still respond as they do now with their EMS personnel.

They added that their team members provide great medical care now as do the ambulance staff that responds from town, but sometimes the best treatment is only available at the hospital. This new ambulance will transport victims to the hospital about 15 minutes faster than their current ambulances, which could mean the difference in life or death.

SJSFPD’s partnership with Arrow Ambulance Service as the District’s EMS service provider has been ongoing since the early 1990’s. Several of the crew members are St. Joseph residents and a couple of them serve in the department already. SJSFPD said this helps to continue fostering a family environment within the department.

SJSFPD would like to thank Arrow Ambulance Service, director Larry Sapp, supervisor Justin Stalter, and supervisor John Sollars. They would also like to thank Homer/Sidney FPD Chief Don Happ and Capt. Matt Kosik, Chief Reese and Asst. Chief Buss for all the hard work and time put into this agreement.

Furthermore, SJSFPD would like to thank all of the participating fire districts in the area who came on board to make this a reality and their trustees for allowing them the opportunity to better serve taxpayers.

SJSFPC said it’s their job to protect and save lives, and this new agreement puts everyone in an even better position to do so without altering taxes.