Ambulance service change is coming to FD
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
The Fort Dodge Fire Department will assume responsibility for the ambulance service now provided by UnityPoint Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center in a transition that hospital and city officials say will provide outstanding care in a financially sustainable way.
The change will become effective July 1, city and hospital leaders announced Monday.
“This new structure will ensure a more sustainable model for both entities while continuing the strong collaboration in delivering high-quality emergency medical service to the community,” Fire Chief Steve Hergenreter said.
The Fire Department ambulances will serve Fort Dodge and all of the surrounding areas including Barnum, Coalville, Moorland and Otho.
They will also help units such as the Southwest Webster Emergency Medical Service in Gowrie whenever those units have a critically ill or injured patient who requires advanced life support.
Ambulances will be stationed at the hospital on Kenyon Road and the firehouse at 1515 Central Ave.
The city will hire nine more people to handle the expanded workload. UnityPoint Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center employees will be given top priority for those positions if they pass a civil service exam.
Hergenreter and Mike Dewerff, president and chief executive officer of UnityPoint Health — Fort Dodge, said the public will notice only cosmetic changes after the transition is complete. All paramedics will be wearing Fire Department uniforms starting July 1. The hospital’s blue ambulances will gradually be replaced with new ones in the red and white Fire Department paint scheme.
The transition will mark the end of an era for the hospital, which Dewerff said has the longest-running hospital-based paramedic ambulance service in the state.