Ambulance Services Cut in Stone County
The Stone County area is scaling back on ambulance services. News 25’s Kendra Turley shows us how the cutback affects residents and other public safety departments.
As of July 1st, there is now only one ambulance serving the Stone County area from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Stone County Hospital made the announcement just one day before the change went into effect. Wiggins Fire Chief Jody Hatten said, “And to come out, just one day prior, especially a holiday weekend, it was just very unfortunate to hear that.”
Over the past couple of years, there have been two, sometimes three, 24 hour ambulances serving the Stone County area. Now, there is just one 24 hour ambulance from the hours of 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Wiggins resident Dennis Craig said, “If they receive more than one call at a time, if you have an accident in one area and somebody has a heart attack in another, they can’t be in two places at one time if they only have one ambulance.”
This cutback is also extremely concerning to the Wiggins Fire Department, who responds to every single emergency situation in the county. That may no longer be the case now with the new change. “It’s kind of hindering our response because we’re having to wait. Anytime you have to wait for an ambulance service, if our guys are there then they’re having to wait and it ties us up for at least an hour,” said Chief Hatten.
Residents say that hour could seem like an eternity for those waiting on medical assistance. “I have an eight-year-old and if something ever happened, I would like to be able to call an ambulance. God forbid I ever need one, but if they’re busy then that’s not going to be very good,” said Craig.