PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas Methodist Medical Center in Paragould recently expanded their ambulance service to better respond to calls in a timely manner.
According to Shay Willis, AMMC director of foundation and marketing, they knew there was a need after seeing the time it took to get from one side of the city to the other.
"The current base is in the heart of the city near the hospital, but for crews to get to the west side through traffic and with a school nearby, it was taking a while," said Willis.
Willis said when they were looking for a new place to set up a second base in Greene County, BancorpSouth helped them.
"Thanks to a generous price from BancorpSouth with this building and charitable contributions, this expansion of our ambulance service was made possible," said Willis.
The new west ambulance service base at 4505 West Kingshighway has been open for a few weeks now, and Willis said it has been very useful in its location.
"Actually I spoke with some of our workers and they said some of their very first calls were just blocks away or just a short mile or two away, versus if they were coming from 900 West Kingshighway more or less where the hospital is located, it will take a little bit longer," said Willis.
Willis also credits the expansion to the growth of the city.
"Paragould is growing, and that is a blessing," said Willis. "We just need to make sure we can accommodate all of the community, and if we see another opportunity to grow and expand again, then we will do so."
Now the current staff and ambulance fleet are split between the bases.
An official ribbon cutting was held for the new base Tuesday afternoon followed by a tour of the building. Willis said no matter where they are stationed, she encourages everyone to be mindful of the work their employees have to do.
"Whether it is on the west side of town or not, we need everyone to be respectful of the ambulance, no matter where they are coming from," said Willis. "Pull over and let them go and then you can go about doing your normal driving."
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