In response to the pending closure of Fulton Medical Center (FMC), the Callaway County Ambulance District’s Board of Directors voted at their August 23 meeting to change the recently added 12-hour crew to a 24-hour crew, beginning September 1.
At the August 23 board meeting, Director Charles Anderson provided information to the Board of Directors indicating a likely increase in transport times for certain calls and an increase in call volume after Fulton Medical Center closes. Presently, the District transports an average of 28 patients per month to FMC. Anderson told the Board these patients will now need to be transported to a more distant facility, increasing the amount of time an ambulance will be out of service. Additionally, some of the patients that now self-transport to Fulton Medical Center will likely require the ambulance service to transport them to hospitals in Columbia, Jefferson City, or Mexico.
The District’s 12-hour shift that was added in July has already reduced the number of times the District’s resources reach “Status Zero”, a situation where there are no ambulances available. By increasing this coverage from 12 to 24 hours, there will be a further reduction of times when no ambulances are available.
Another benefit that should be realized is a reduction in response times, as the District will have to move ambulances from one station to another less frequently, meaning ambulances are more likely to be where we have determined our call volumes are the highest.
The total cost to increase coverage for another 12 hours each day will be approximately $185,000 per year, which includes pay and benefits. These costs will be covered by the District’s regular operating budget.
According to Director Charles Anderson, “The Ambulance District realizes the negative effects Fulton Medical Center’s closure will have on the community. While we understand there are ongoing efforts by City and County government officials to find a viable solution for the community’s healthcare needs, we believe being proactive and ensuring our resources can meet the community’s immediate needs makes sense for all of us.”
For additional information, please contact Charles Anderson, Director, at 573-642-7260 x 23 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.