Stillwater News Press

March 22, 2013

Rescue service to add more staff to serve county, reduce response time

By Russell Hixson
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Payne County’s ambulance service will hire two new paramedics and station an ambulance in Perkins to cope with rural calls and keep response times at a minimum.

LifeNet Operations Director Michael Authement said the new employees and being stationed in Perkins will likely help catch the high volume of rural calls south of the city, improving response times.

A rural call is considered late if an ambulance responds in 15 minutes or more. The rural response time starting in March has had a minute added as it was determined to not be reasonable.

In February, there were 10 late rural calls and seven were south of Stillwater.

The extra paramedics will also mean LifeNet won’t have to reduce its vehicles in service down to three at night which frees up more vehicles to run patient transports to Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

The unit will be posted in Perkins for about 90 days to see what impact it has. Paramedics have been invited to stay at the city’s central fire station, and LifeNet will figure out a more permanent facility if needed.

Authement said it could take several months to hire and train the new employees though LifeNet is aiming for the beginning of May to have the process complete.