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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Arcadia Weekly / Arcadia Fire Department launches new ambulance service

Arcadia Fire Department launches new ambulance service

by Staff
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The Arcadia Fire Department has a new ambulance and seven newly hired ambulance operators, the city announced last week. 

In order to meet the city’s increasing public safety needs and to help ensure swift response times to medical emergencies, the fire department has added a “Basic Life Support” ambulance to its fleet.

Last year about 70% of the 6,100 calls for service were for medical emergencies that required an ambulance ride to the hospital, and Arcadia firefighters responded to over 4,000 medical service calls, according to the city’s announcement. 

“High call volumes, coupled with prolonged hospital bed wait times, resulted in unavailability of ambulances and paramedics during peak hours, prompting reliance on neighboring agencies to meet demand,” according to a city statement. 

During peak hours for 911 calls, the new BLS ambulance will handle emergencies with less severe injuries than incidents that require “advanced life support” units, officials said. The BLS is tasked with transporting less severely injured patients to free up the advanced life support ambulances and paramedics to respond to incidents that require more advanced levels of medical attention. 

“The implementation of this new program will improve services to our community, alleviating potential long response times,” Arcadia Fire Chief Chen Suen said in a statement. “When time matters for patient outcome, every minute saved is crucial. The Basic Life Support Ambulance program will serve those in need while keeping vital paramedic resources available for more critical medical responses.” 

The fire department has added these new ambulance operators: Brendan Poli, Anthony Pullara-Padilla, Sebastian Padilla, Edward Sustayta, Kevin Yeh, Lawson Turrietta and Hugo Bonilla.

The new ambulance will start providing service Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

“It will also serve as a secondary transport source for Monrovia and the Los Angeles County Fire Department when their medical transport services provider is unavailable,” officials said. 

In 2023, the City Council approved $731,600 to purchase the new ambulance and its equipment, plus $136,800 annually for its staff salaries.

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