Major changes are unfolding for ambulance service in Albemarle County.
Monday, the Charlottesville - Albemarle Rescue Squad (CARS) stopped running daytime calls in Albemarle. Chief Dan Eggleston of Albemarle County Fire & Rescue estimated that county ambulances responded to 16 calls for service between 6:00 a.m. and 3:55 p.m. Monday.
The county has added three ambulances - one at Seminole Trail, one in the Ivy area and one in Earlysville. They will help fill the gap left by the decision from CARS to not run daytime calls in the county. "Our estimate in terms of a full year of revenue from the daytime ambulances at Ivy, Seminole, and Earlysville is $345,000," said Eggleston.
The county has removed two emergency medical technicians from CARS. They are now stationed at Seminole Trail. Other staff has also been moved around to handle the change.
"The fire/rescue system is a very dynamic system anyway. It really takes a system to adequately cover the county, so there's a lot of initial and primary and secondary response. A lot of logistics to make sure that happens in a seamless manner," said Eggleston. CARS now has two ambulances staffed to cover Charlottesville from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. The president of CARS says they are handling the call volume just fine.
The point of contention between CARS and the county has been ambulance billing, specifically who got the money first. The county is still in talks with the Western Albemarle Rescue Squad about billing as well.
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