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Callaway County ambulance district increasing coverage after closure of Fulton Medical Center

Starting Friday, Sept. 1, the Callaway County Ambulance District will move from a 12-hour crew to a 24-hour crew.

This comes after a vote by the District’s Board of Directors, on Aug. 23.

This change came in response to the closure of Fulton Medical Center, where the ambulance district sends an average of 28 patients to per month.

Those patients will now need to be sent to a facility farther away, which will increase the amount of time an ambulance is out of service. Patients who currently self-transport to FMC will also likely need the ambulance service to take them to hospitals in Columbia, Jefferson City or Mexico.

In July, the district voted to add a 12-hour shift to address the issue, which reduced the number of times “status zero” is reached. That’s when no ambulances are available. With the increase to a 24-hour shift, status zero instances are expected to reduce even further.

But that’s not the only benefit. Officials are also expecting a reduction in response times. This is because ambulances won’t need to move from one station to another as much, so they can be stationed where call volumes are the highest.

The cost for this increase is approximately $185,000 per year, including pay and benefits. But those costs will be covered by the district’s regular operating budget.

District Director Charles Anderson says, “The Ambulance District realizes the negative effects Fulton Medical Center’s closure will have on the community. While we understand there are ongoing efforts by city and county government officials to find a viable solution for the community’s healthcare needs, we believe being proactive and ensuring our resources can meet the community’s immediate needs makes sense for all of us.

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