Plans have begun for the Pettis County Ambulance District’s first satellite station to help reduce response times throughout the county.
The new station will be located on state Route TT at U.S. Highway 50 to serve the eastern Pettis County area, including Smithton, Maplewood and Four Seasons Living Center. PCAD currently operates only out of its headquarters on West Fourth Street in downtown Sedalia, and PCAD Administrator Mike Gardner told the Democrat this new station will help reduce response time to an area that receives a large number of calls.
“We have a lot of calls in that direction, which is No. 1 why we wanted to start out that way — calls from the nursing home, in the past there’s been lot of car accidents out that way,” he said. “… No. 1, we wanted to make sure from the very beginning, way before I came here, our board wanted to try to cover the area a litte bit better. Tentatively we were looking at how may bases we’d need… It will cut down response times for getting to people, that’s the major reason for it. We want to be able to service all areas if we can.”
The proposed 4,900-square-foot station will feature living and sleeping quarters, storage space, laundry facilities and a bay capable of holding two ambulances. It will house two crews, leaving the remaining crew members and three ambulances at the downtown station. Not only will the satellite station reduce response time, but it will also give the downtown station a little breathing room.
“The ambulance base we’re in right now, we’re pretty much packed in here with people,” Gardner said. “They’re doing really well, but we have 11 crew members plus staff, so we’d like at the beginning to at least put two crews into the satellite base so it would help some of the congestion here. All of our trucks are pretty much side by side and we couldn’t do too much more in here. (The satellite station will) eliminate some of that. That base out there will be very good for response to the hospital for transfers and taking care of that area as well.”
Gardner said additional crew members would need to be hired once another satellite station is constructed, but no plans have been made for a third station at this point.
Once sunnier skies are in the forecast for Pettis County, dirt work will begin at the new site, and construction will most likely begin in early fall. The Board of Directors approved the purchase of the land earlier this year, and they got a first look at plans for the building during the May 19 meeting.
“Johnson County (Ambulance District) has five stations and a main station. They’re in a situation like we are — if we’re located in one spot, that’s the time it takes to get anywhere,” Gardner said. “We can get places downtown quickly, but if you look at someone in La Monte or Smithton, you’re looking at 15, 20 minutes in some areas. That’s the main thing, we’re still working hard to make sure we do what we told the people we were going to do when we went for the new tax and district.”