Buffalo And Blue Grass Get New Ambulance Services - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Buffalo And Blue Grass Get New Ambulance Services

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Buffalo Volunteer Ambulance Service, Inc., stationed in Blue Grass, IA, will no longer serve the Buffalo and Blue Grass areas. The Scott County Health Department assigned Medic EMS, a private company, to take over on an interim basis from June 1- July 1, 2014. Medic EMS officials say the response time should be just as fast. However, some community members are concerned with this transition.

"It's a shame that this has to come to this," said Raymond Ochoa, whose parents live in Buffalo. He says he has seen issues with getting to the hospital on time.

"My dad just had a problem with his kidney, and he's allergic to bees," he said. "Summer is coming, and what if he gets stung again or something like that? Last time, he had to drive himself to the hospital."

Others say they haven't had any problems.

"I got stung, and they came right away," resident Victoria Lambert said.

Mayor Doug Anderson says although Buffalo Ambulance moved to Blue Grass years ago, they've been able to reach Buffalo residents quickly.

"They're their own service," he said. "They've always had good response times down here, in town. We've never really had to wait on them."

Yet the Scott County Health Department says the Buffalo Volunteer Ambulance Service put in a request to no longer cover the area, apparently "not confident that continuity of service can be ensured." Buffalo Ambulance says they are not available for comment today.

"I think that they have had some difficulties with reimbursement, as all of us have had," Medic EMS executive director Linda Frederiksen said.

She says her team is ready to cover the areas.

"We'll definitely go out there, and look at those coverage areas, so we can have the shortest response time possible," she said.

Frederiksen says rural areas often have issues with continuing coverage.

"I saw a statistic recently where up to as high as 12% of ambulance services in the state of Iowa had dropped that transport status," she said. "That's a lot."

In 1999, Medic EMS took on Eldridge, and in 2001, they began covering LeClaire.

"Many of the LeClaire ambulance volunteers came in and are working today with Medic still," she said.

Similarly, she says they might hire former Buffalo Ambulance volunteers, and that all Scott County services should be able to help each other when possible. Frederiksen says Medic EMS plans to visit the current Buffalo station in Blue Grass this week, and they will decide whether to have their personnel based there.

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