Florida state hospital officials received an ambulance in the late 70s to transport patients around this sprawling 620 acre campus. But in critical times, they rely on Gadsden County EMS for services. Now hospital officials just received a $123,000 grant to purchase their own ambulance.
"It will enable us to transport our patients to Tallahassee if we need to or we have it's not something we want to do on a regular basis, but it gives us an avenue to getting patients over there to the hospital."
Laura Mitchell the Unit Director says, "We have to transfer patients and it’s a 45 minutes transfer patients to Tallahassee. Now we're hoping to get certified ALS we can transfer the residents to Tallahassee in an event of an emergency is not available."
Gadsden County’s EMS director says they transport an average of 80 patients a year, tying up the ambulances for long periods of time.
"It compromises our coverage. It's a three-hour trip so it requires us to take our ambulance out of service to handle those call so it will really help our coverage in the western side of Gadsden county."
But during critical times hospital officials still rely on Airhart or other air services to transport patents to Tallahassee.
The new ambulance should be available and ready for service by the end of this year. One additional note: Jefferson County received $54,000 to rebuild an old ambulance.