Lifeguard takes over ambulance service in McDonough County - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Lifeguard takes over ambulance service in McDonough County

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Lifeguard ambulance at MCDonough District Hospital Lifeguard ambulance at MCDonough District Hospital
Lifeguard ambulance Lifeguard ambulance
Paramedic and EMS logo on the ambulance Paramedic and EMS logo on the ambulance
McDonough District Hospital Main Entrance sign McDonough District Hospital Main Entrance sign
McDonough District Hospital Emergency room McDonough District Hospital Emergency room
MACOMB, Ill. (WGEM) -

After months of discussion and training, changes are finally being made to ambulance service in McDonough County. It's all a part of the restructuring so the McDonough District Hospital and paramedics can to get to you faster than ever before.

It's out with the old and in with the new as Lifeguard out of Alabama takes over ambulance service in McDonough County starting Thursday at 7 a.m. The trucks may be new, but patients will see familiar faces.

"As far as training goes, we are actually inheriting MDH employees," EMS Chief Alex Zirnheld said. "Out of 17 full time staff members, 13 of them currently work on the ambulances at MDH."

Two ambulances will be on duty for 24 hours, one for 12 hours, plus a quick response vehicle has been added, all to improve response times, which paramedics say can make a difference in emergency calls.

"I've been on many calls before where it comes in like it's a minor emergency and we get there and it's very chaotic and crazy," Zirnheld said. "Response times are very, very important and getting there in a timely and speedy manor is very, very important."

The hospital estimates that making the switch to Lifeguard will save them about $100,000 a year allowing them to keep important services at the hospital for patients.

"There are several services in the organization that other partners can't provide and probably the biggest on I believe in today's environment that is the most pressing for us to balance from a loss perspective is our mental health services," CEO Kenny Boyd said.

To spread out the fleet, the ambulances will be housed in both fire stations in Macomb.

"We will partner a paramedic with one of the firefighter EMT's," Zirnheld said. "So a lot of that is coordinating with fire and dispatch to make sure everything is in line in order to have a successful day one."

To view our previous stories on the transition, click here.
 

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