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Streator ambulance service ‘so far, so good,’ fire chief says

Streator’s emergency ambulance service has responded to 60 calls since it was launched Oct. 1, Fire Chief Gary Bird told the City Council on Tuesday.

The service has been operating so far, so good, he said.

Seven of those calls have been outside of Streator’s city limits, and all but one person has been taken to the OSF Center for Health-Streator, which Bird said keeps the ambulances in-town and better able to respond to the next call.

Streator’s service operates two fully-staffed ambulances 24 hours, seven days a week with personnel from American Medical Response. One of the ambulances in-use is a used vehicle purchased from the city of Ottawa, but the other is on-loan from Pontiac. Streator has ordered two other used ambulances, one of them was received last week and is expected to be in-use once radio systems are installed and the other is expected to be delivered in about four weeks, meaning Streator will be able to return Pontiac its vehicle soon.

One call did create some questions, Bird told the council. There appears to be a portion of Leonore’s fire protection district that was serviced by previous provider Advanced Medical Transport. Bird said City Manager David Plyman will look to set up an agreement with that fire protection district on who will respond.

Plyman told the council Tuesday the Reading Fire Protection District has agreed to accept Streator’s proposed intergovernmental agreement. This will allow Reading to pay Streator $25,000 for emergency ambulance coverage until April. Reading will have a referendum on the ballot to raise property taxes to generate revenue for the ambulance service. If it passes, Reading will pay Streator an additional $25,000 until Dec. 31, 2023, then enter into an agreement beginning Jan. 1, 2024, to pay $450 per call for a minimum of three years. If a referendum doesn’t pass, Streator will not be obligated to provide emergency ambulance service to the Reading Fire Protection District, which includes Reading, Otter Creek and Eagle townships.

Reading officials had told the Streator council last month it couldn’t afford to pay $450 per call, as initially proposed, until a referendum passes and the next tax revenue is collected.

The $450 per call agreement mirrors the deal Streator seeks with Long Point’s fire protection district and is modeled after Cornell’s agreement with Pontiac for emergency ambulance service. Streator also plans to enter into an agreement with Allen Township (Ransom) to provide emergency services to the western portion of its district.

Streator will vote on the intergovernmental agreements at its 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, City Council meeting at City Hall, 204 S. Bloomington St.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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