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FULLERTON : Fire Department May Get Ambulances

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City officials are studying whether money can be saved in the Fire Department budget by consolidating its services with nearby cities and providing ambulance transportation services.

Fire Chief Marc Martin said he has contacted La Habra and will ask other cities if they would be interested in consolidating services. The move could save at least $100,000, he said.

In addition, the Fire Department is considering further savings by providing its own ambulances, a service offered by a private company that charges for transport to hospitals.

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If the Fire Department is given approval to provide ambulance service, Martin said, residents would no longer get billed for the service. Should the plan be passed, Fullerton would become one of only five cities in the county with its own ambulance service.

Under a plan still in the works, the Fire Department would propose hiring more paramedics and buying ambulances, Martin added.

City paramedics currently respond to emergency calls but do not provide ambulance transportation to hospitals.

Residents pay $20 a year for emergency services. But those services only include medical care by the city’s paramedics--not rides to hospitals.

“This way, residents would get both” services, Martin said of the proposed changes. “We may not charge less, but we would provide more.”

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