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GVFD getting into the ambulance business

The Green Valley Fire District will enter a new era Nov. 20 when its first ambulances hit the road.

Ambulances staffed by GVFD will respond to emergency calls from Station 151 at 250 N. La Cañada Drive and Station 153 at 210 Continental Road.

AMR, formerly Southwest Ambulance, is the current provider and will continue answering calls. Who you get depends on who is closer to the call, GVFD Chief Chuck Wunder said. AMR is owned by Rural Metro Fire.

“We are excited to get started in the ambulance-transport business and I am happy for our communities,” he said. “Adding additional resources into the system benefits everyone.”

The fire district and AMR reached a deal in April allowing both to provide services within the fire district. However, an administrative law judge needed to review the agreement and make a recommendation to DHS before a certificate of necessity could be approved.

DHS approved an Advanced and Basic Life Support Certificate of Necessity in September.

The district continues to work on its application that will allow the district to accept Medicare patients, Wunder said.

 The district will soon add a third ambulance, Wunder said. It purchased a surplus ambulance from the Drexel Heights Fire Department for $8,500 and it will be placed on reserve status, he said.

The fire district and AMR will charge the same rates and because AMR has no plans to reduce the number of their ambulances, response times could improve, Wunder said.

Earlier this year Wunder said he anticipates the ambulance transportation revenue will add just over $500,000 annually to the district’s coffers.