Madison’s south side has a new ambulance.
The new ambulance is now the ninth in the city, and brings additional emergency services to the southeast side.
It’s stationed at Fire Station 14 on Dairy Drive, which first opened in 2018, but has not had an ambulance until now.
For years, Madison’s southeast side has advocated for an ambulance that would result in better response times to emergencies. Previously, the closest ambulance was stationed at Station five on Cottage Grove Road.
According to WKOW, ambulance wait times across most of the city was under nine minutes in late 2019. But around Station 14, there was only a 50% chance that an ambulance would be able to arrive in that time frame. Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes says that, as the area grows, the investment of a new ambulance will pay off over time.
“What we were really seeing in the data was that in order to keep the response times where we wanted them to be, that is short enough that the ambulance is actually getting to people in a reasonable amount of time, that we really needed to add more coverage to that area. It’s an area that obviously has grown over the past years and it was important to us that we are making the investment now to make sure we are providing equitable service, not just for the southeast side but for the whole city, because when there’s a strain on the system like that, having that asset of the Medic 14 helps to balance out,” Mayor Rhodes-Conway says.
To address this, the new ambulance also means new staff for the fire station, with a six-person staff 24/7. During budget deliberations last fall, the Madison city council approved hiring ten new paramedics to staff the fire station. The hiring process will begin to fill those positions later next month. Mayor Rhodes-Conway says that, although the ambulance is already running, the extra staff will help alleviate the stress on the rest of the city.
“The ambulance is in service as of yesterday, it went on a couple of calls already. So we’ve got people staffing it at this point, it’s inservice, but of course we’re always hiring for our excellent fire department. We’d certainly encourage people to check that out as a career opportunity, but I’m confident that we’ll be able to staff that ambulance and that it’s going to be available for the residents of the southeast side and all of Madison,” Mayor Rhodes-Conway says.
The new ambulance officially went into service yesterday morning.
Photo courtesy: Joshua Coleman / UNSPLASH