By Rod Rose
For the Times Sentinel
An ambulance based at the all-volunteer Advance Fire Department is expected to go into service by Aug. 1, after a state agency issued certification for the service.
The Emergency Medical Commission of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security issued the certification after inspections of the ambulance and review of an extensive application process, Advance Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jim Caldwell said.
“It took about two or three weeks before the certification paperwork came through,” Caldwell said.
The unit, to be called Ambulance 51, will be based at AFD’s main station on East Wall Street in Advance.
Of the 40 AFD firefighters, 14 are certified as emergency medical technicians, Caldwell said. “I have more who want to go to EMT school, as soon as classes open up,” he said.
Caldwell said the department expects to add five to six EMTs. “We might even take on people who are EMTs, not firefighters, but we haven’t got that far yet,” he said.
Staffing of the ambulance will be an assigned home-response on-call basis, Caldwell said. Because it will offer basic life support, the crew is allowed to include a driver and an EMT with the patient.
A two-person crew of a firefighter-certified driver, and an EMT, will be on call, Caldwell said. “If we aren’t staffed, we’ll pull it out of service,” he said. Units from either the Thorntown/Sugar Creek FD, or Jamestown FD, would take over until Advance has a crew available, he said.
“We have a lot to do before it can get running,” Caldwell said, “but we can achieve all that pretty quickly.”
Advance Fire covers the area from CR 400 N to CR 500 S, and from CR 500 W to the Boone-Montgomery County line, encompassing 72 square miles.