United Medical Response, LLC purchased land from the Jefferson County Health Department to build a new EMS response facility in Mt. Vernon. UMR is the ambulance provider for the cities of Salem as well as Marion with operations in Centralia and Herrin. The new 8,000+ square foot facility in Mt. Vernon would become a central hub for UMR inside their entire service area.
County Board Chairman Cliff Lindemann says that a current 3-year contract with Litton Ambulance Service, Inc. as the sole company for 911 services is set to expire in July of this year. He wanted to begin the discussion to possibly refine the contract when UMR introduced themselves at the February County Board meeting.
The County Board Monday unanimously approved a recommendation from a Services Committee meeting, which took place last Thursday, to remain with one ambulance service for their 911 calls. In doing so, that also makes Litton’s the decision maker on whether or not to call another ambulance service that they have a mutual aid agreement with for a call if they’re not able to go out for whatever reason.
Chairman Lindemann says the discussion has mostly been about whether or not Litton’s or any other ambulance service, or a combination of multiple ambulance services can handle the 911 call volume in the county. However, he says his main concern is the lack of EMT’s and staff to go around, no matter how many ambulance services are in rotation.
Lindemann commented that at this time the board had no statistics or official information showing that ambulance calls in the county were not being attended to by Litton’s or one of the agreed upon ambulance services for mutual aid.