21 Aug 2014
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Ambulance AND a fire truck?

HEY, MR. GENEVA: Can you tell me why this happens?

Ambulance AND a fire truck?

Hey, Mr. Geneva: Why is it that whenever I see an ambulance pull up in front of somebody's house in Geneva, there's a fire truck along with it? Isn't that redundant and a waste of taxpayer money?

Mr. Geneva: Actually, it's not redundant—or maybe it's more accurate to say it's redundant on purpose. The fire trucks have the same equipment as the ambulances do, and if the fire truck gets to the scene first, firefighters with Emergency Medical Service training can start EMS efforts then and there. That helps response time and also provides backup in case of a more-serious accident, injury or medical condition.

Both vehicles aren't always sent out. Tri-Com dispatch serves Geneva, Batavia and St. Charles, and ambulance service is determined by who's closest. If the injury is, say, a person falling off a bike, just the ambulance. If the person on a bike was hit by a car or very seriously hurt, it's two.

The cost is hard to quantify, since the personnel are there 24-7 and equipment has to be maintained regardless of how often it's used. Is it worth the taxpayer dollars? That's something for you to decide.

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