ETX community worried about EMS ambulance moving - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

ETX community worried about EMS ambulance moving

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

Starting on Sunday, the ETMC ambulance will be moving from the Red Springs volunteer fire department, where it has been housed for years, to another location at Interstate 20 and FM 14.

Friday night a community meeting was held at the fire house to let community members know that the ambulance will not be moving far.

About thirty members of the Red Springs community came out tonight to meet with ETMC officials to voice their concerns.

"my main concern; and it's like everything else in life, you get false information. The information we received first was that they were taking the ambulance service away from Red Springs. We were like 'Well whoa... wait a minute,'" Suzy Stewart, a member of Red Springs said.

Like Suzy Stewart, many people came out tonight worried they wouldn't have ambulance service in their area.
Neal Franklin of ETMC said that's not the case.

"We want them to understand that we are not leaving them. We are staying with them. We love our relationship with Smith County and with Red Springs and we want that to continue for many years to come," Franklin, general manager at ETMC EMS, said.

Neal says moving the ambulance to Interstate 20 will help with response times, but the community of Red Springs fears this will cause the EMS to respond to their area much later.

"If we have increment weather of any kind. It doesn't matter, summer, fall, any time, we have accidents. With the ambulance being right here, along with our fire department, they have saved lives, because the response time was like nothing. It's just like blink and they're there," Stewart said.

"We are always looking for efficiency and that's what the deal is. We are always looking for the shortest response times ever and we feel liked this system of posted trucks will be much better because our EMS crew is already behind the wheel," Franklin said.

Neal said that the move of the ambulance will not effect the service given to Red Springs.

"There is really no change in their service, they are still going to have it. They're just not going to be living at the fire station anymore," Franklin said.

But for the time being the community says they understand the change, but are still very skeptical.

"I'm ok for now. I'm going to rely on Mr. Franklin's word. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt, and I'm going to see how it really works out," Stewart said. 

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