Ark. FD to be city's main ambulance service by end of year

Pope County EMS will also respond to Russellville calls; "we’re a partnership,” Fire Chief Kirk Slone said

By Leila Merrill

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — The Russellville city council approved the Russellville Fire Department to take over as the area’s main EMS agency this month, KARK reported.

The city’s current ambulance service provider, Pope County EMS, will continue to respond to calls, and the additional service is expected to help both manage the increasing EMS call volume.

“There is a lot of talk out there that it’s either one or the other, and that’s not true. We’re a partnership,” Russellville Fire Chief Kirk Slone said. “They are going to handle all the long-distance transfers.”

The fire department has received its first ambulance. Two more ambulances are expected to arrive in the coming months so the service can launch in December.

Thirteen of the firefighters also are paramedics.

One of them, Ian Simpson, said he operates out of a fire rescue truck equipped with monitors, medications and firefighting gear – but no patient bed.

“There’s no bed on this. There’s no dock. There’s no way to transport a patient,” Simpson said. “Every capability outside of that, we already serve.”

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