It is a hectic holiday season for one new Leon County agency, but if all goes as planned you won't even notice.
They're definitely still getting settled. Boxes are everywhere, brand-new ambulances are ready to be stocked, but the head of the new service says don't doubt it. They'll be ready to roll December 31.
There's plenty of unpacking to do at the new Leon County ambulance headquarters. Shelves are ready to be stocked with medical supplies. Brand-new ambulances are waiting on site.
"That's our goal that as far as the public is concerned, they don't see a transition. On the 30th of December, we'll begin dispatching TMH units so we'll have our communications systems up and running 24 hours before we take over," said Dan Moynihan, Director, Leon County EMS.
The new county ambulances are outfitted with 800 MHz radios. That means ambulances will be able to talk to other emergency workers. Paramedics have had daylong orientation sessions this week. One of the biggest changes: laptops for on site patient information.
"We're trying to go to a paperless system that allows us to capture the data on a little tablet computer."
It's a new site but one full of familiar faces for paramedics making the change from Tallahassee Memorial.
"I saw the system evolve since it had stone wheels and I'm looking forward to positive changes here," said Doc Boissiere, 30-year TMH paramedic.
"We've developed a family atmosphere over there, hard to leave family. The good news is we're bringing quite a few folks with us, so it's more like moving to a new house rather than leaving folks behind," said Scott Hill, 18-year TMH paramedic.
Another change for paramedics is something called street corner postings. Rather than working 24-hour shifts and staying in an apartment-like setting during downtime, they'll work 12-hour shifts and stay in the ambulance.
Officially, the county takes over at noon on the 31st, but they'll start moving vehicles into position early that morning.
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