Local leaders will mark the addition of a new ambulance to Gold Cross' Columbia County fleet Monday.
Stationed on Highway 28 at Evans-to-Locks Road, the new EMS unit is expected to reduce response times in the Highway 28 area by five to six minutes.
"That side of the county is growing quite a bit in population and we were getting more an more response delays over there because it was growing," Gold Cross Director Dan Gates said. "Putting an ambulance over there will just give us better service."
The new ambulance's first day of service will be marked by a press conference with Gold Cross CEO Tom Schneider, Martinez Fire Chief Doug Cooper and county officials at 4:15 p.m. Monday at Martinez Fire Department Station No. 3, which will be the ambulance's permanent home.
There were 1,221 ambulance calls logged in the Highway 28 area in 2002.
Gates said that the ambulance response time for the Highway 28 area is supposed to be 11 minutes or less. Because of increased housing, traffic and railroad crossings, meeting that time limit was becoming increasingly more difficult.
The new unit will be staffed around the clock with two emergency medical technicians and stocked with the latest in advanced life support equipment.
In addition to the AirMed helicopter, this brings the total number of Gold Cross ground units to six, which are located throughout the county.
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