Mo. city resumes using its fire department for emergency ambulance calls
The city hired 12 firefighters/paramedics to staff the and supplement the existing fire department workforce
By Mark Schlinkmann
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. — After four years of contracting with a private company, University City on Saturday moved its emergency ambulance service back to the city-run fire department.
Mayor Terry Crow, who as a City Council member had opposed the outsourcing, said the city had hired 12 new firefighter/paramedics to help staff the service and supplement the existing fire department workforce.
A celebratory event marking the switchover was held Saturday at one of the city's fire stations.
The shift in 2015 to Gateway Ambulance, championed by then-Mayor Shelley Welsch in part as a cost-cutting move, came amid acrimonious political infighting on the council. Gateway was bought by Arkansas-based Medic One earlier this year.
Supporters of the outsourcing also said it would improve response times and reduce the possibility of exhausted firefighters working 48-hour shifts. Critics warned that the quality of service would go down. The city's firefighters union also worked against the plan.
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