School district, ambulance service partner to decrease response time

School district, ambulance service partner to decrease response time
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - A scary situation involving a student last year has created a partnership between the Southside School District and Vital Link Ambulance Service that might help save lives.

Southside Superintendent Roger Rick said they had a student going into a diabetic coma last year.

"Vital Link's corporate office is in Batesville, and they may have trucks out everywhere," Rich said. "That day it took a long time to get there."

School staff was able to get the student some medicine that helped him while they waited for EMS to arrive, but Rich said they decided to make a change after that.

"We were scared that we were going to have a child die in our arms," he said. "And we vowed to never have that situation again."

So, they decided to place a Vital Link substation at the high school. An ambulance is now on campus every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The ambulance service has also now realized that one-third of all their emergency calls are on the south side of the White River.

With a crew in Southside, they can respond to residents there around 7 minutes quicker, which is a big deal when seconds count.

"We had always in our dreams been able to put a substation south of the river, and this was just a really great partnership between Vital Link and the Southside School District to get us in that area at no cost to Vital Link, which we are a not-for-profit, so that's really important to us," Vital Link Chief Financial Officer Kathy Lanier said.

The school now plans to lease a piece of land on campus to Vital Link to build a second, 24-hour station and continue to better serve Southside residents.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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