CHRISMAN, Ill. (WCIA) – When you dial 911 in need of an ambulance, typically you don’t want to wait very long for help. Some rural towns are forced to wait because a first responder is coming from the town over, but not in Chrisman.
“The board, in looking for funding, put a question on the ballot. If the people were in favor for a special service area to fund for an ambulance and it was a majority said yes, that’s what they wanted,” Jeremy Neal, with Neal EMS, said.
Originally, Chrisman had an ambulance service funded through subsidies and it was completely volunteer.
Neal said there just wasn’t enough money so that service was on the chopping block.
“The next closest one would be Paris or Georgetown. Get over towards Hume, it might be from Arrow. So, you know, add another 15-20 minutes to response time,” Neal said.
But the people in our town Chrisman made it clear, they didn’t want to have to wait. They wanted a service they could rely on. That’s where Neal EMS comes in.
Jeremy bought the two ambulances from the original service, made sure they could be staffed and the people in Our Town Chrisman would be safe.
“Obviously, I live here, you know I want to do the best for the community. If my loved one was in need of an ambulance, I wouldn’t want to wait 15 or 20 minutes. I want them now. So, me and all the staff here feel real passionate about providing that care to the people,” he said. “We’re always gonna be here when they need it. Like I said, dedicated staff. We want to provide the service that they need in their time of need.”
This new service has only been up and operating for about a year. They staff one ambulance 24/7 for any calls that come in. He said they get about 500 calls a year.