Nov 18, 2016

Fort Wayne Fire Reaches Agreement with EMS


Fire Department to drop pursuit of becoming sole operator of ambulance services with new agreement

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA 21) - The Fort Wayne Fire Department has decided to drop its pursuit of becoming the sole operator of ambulance services.

This comes as the department reached an agreement with Three Rivers Ambulance Authority (TRAA) in an effort to enhance emergency medical services to the public.

As part of the agreement, the fire department will receive funding from TRAA to offset the investments made by the City of Fort Wayne. This will result in a firefighter paramedic or advanced EMT on every fire engine.  The department said this will allow for advanced life support to be at an emergency scene through the FWFD to begin providing life-saving care upon arrival.

If TRAA agrees, the fire department said it will no longer pursue becoming the sole operator of ambulance services in the community. TRAA and Paramedics Plus will continue to provide ambulance services. Fort Wayne Fire Chief Eric Lahey said he is encouraged by the partnership and collaboration.

“It’s critical to provide the most efficient and effective care possible to the public,” Chief Lahey said. “We’re looking forward to future successes as we work together to serve and protect Fort Wayne.”

Three Rivers Ambulance Authority Executive Director Gary Booher said he believes the agreement is a win for the community.

“We believe this is a true win for our community as it retains high-quality ambulance service that Fort Wayne has received from Three Rivers Ambulance Authority for over 30 years and enhances that service with ALS first response provided by the Fort Wayne Fire Department in cases in which they arrive on a scene first and the patient's condition could benefit from advanced care prior to an ambulance arriving,” Booher said.

The fire department said the new partnership is intended to provide synergies in the areas of response times, education, planning, productivity and maximizing resources. Property taxes would not be used to subsidize the payments to the City under the agreement.
The agreement would take effect January 1, 2017 pending approval from the TRAA Board of Directors.
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