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Ambulances, building to go to fire district

Published: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 11:49 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 11:51 a.m. CDT

By Vinde Wells

Editor

Although it’s not official yet, plans are in the works to transfer the Oregon Ambulance Service, Inc. building and ambulances to the Oregon Fire Protection District.

Betty Ferris, who co-managed the service with her husband Jim, said July 2 that the building at 101 Madison St. and two ambulances were given to the fire district the day before.

“That’s where they should go. We have to complete the paperwork yet,” she said.

Fire Chief Don Heller said Monday that attorneys for both entities are working out the details.

“It’s not officially done. The lawyers are still negotiating,” he said.

The matter is on the agenda for the July 9 meeting of the fire protection district board of trustees. The meeting, which is open to the public, starts at 7 p.m. at the fire district’s administration building at 106 S. First St., Oregon.

The Oregon Ambulance Service Inc., a not-for-profit corporation, closed its doors June 17, leaving the Oregon community without its own ambulance service.

Ferris said then that the closing was due to financial reasons.

She notified the fire board at its June 11 meeting.

The Oregon Fire Protection District is one of very few fire districts without a tax-supported ambulance service.

Fire district officials will likely place a referendum to tax for an ambulance service on the ballot either in November of this year or next April.

The fire district signed a 10-month contract last week with ATS Medical Services, Loves Park for ambulance service in the fire protection district.

Since July 1 an ATS ambulance and crew are based at the Oregon Fire Station and answer calls from there.

“The ambulance service is going well,” Heller said Monday.

He said ATS has responded to at least a dozen calls in its first few days in Oregon.

Calls between June 17 and July 1 were handled by neighboring fire departments’ ambulance services.

The fire district, which is 120 square miles and bordered by 10 other fire districts, includes all of Oregon-Nashua Township and portions of Pine Creek, Pine Rock, White Rock, Rockvale, Marion, Grand Detour, and Taylor Townships.

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