By: Lanetra Bennett
October 28, 2013
Midway, FL - Gadsden County has gotten an additional ambulance and EMS full-time staff to provide emergency medical services in Midway.
Local officials say it was greatly needed in the eastern part of the county.
When there's an emergency call in the City of Midway; an ambulance can now respond from Midway.
"This is something that we need here in Midway," says former Gadsden County Commissioner Eugene Lamb.
Lamb says he proposed the idea of getting an additional ambulance in Midway back in 2012.
The Gadsden County EMS Director, Tommy Baker, says the county gets 750 to 800 calls a month.
Before the additional crew, there were five ambulances: one in Havana, three in Quincy, and one in Chattahoochee. Baker says the average response time was eight minutes.
He says, "Of course you have areas that are extremely longer. So you can imagine that if we were real busy and we had to send an ambulance out of, say, Chattahoochee, to get to this area, the response time would be outrageous. So, it really makes a big difference for Midway."
The Vice Chairman of the Gadsden County Commission, Eric Hinson, says there was much debate about the new ambulance crew taking roughly $318,000 from the budget. He says a pivotal moment for him was when a recent crash in Midway left a van full of kids needing medical services.
Hinson says, "Can you imagine telling a little boy that we can't respond to you in two minutes because we got to spend $300,000 a year for that? No, that kid wanted services at that particular day. He was just crying."
Officials say what's important is saving time, which could ultimately save lives.
Lamb says, "It can help save lives. It can help save lives right here in Midway."
Baker says six full-time employees and two part-time employees were hired for the new ambulance crew in Midway.