DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - From basic life support to critical care, an ambulance and the workers on board can mean the difference between life and death.
Now, Decatur has a second ambulance service in its first response. Officials said the second service makes their jobs a lot easier.
"Because there are more ambulances available, there's going to be less times in the course of a year that we are out of ambulances," said Ryan Welty, 911 director. "When that happens we have to call one of our neighbors, or get an ambulance back in service out of the emergency room. That's probably going to happen from time to time, but it will happen much less often than it did before these changes were made."
Welty said they are glad to have the increased number of ambulances because they are sorely needed. There is also an effect on response time.
"That's a minute 30 seconds faster response time in the city of Decatur with two ambulance companies on duty," he said.
"Response time is everything in the emergency medical field," said David Childers, First Response Director. "We want to get the patient quickly, assess the patient to a controlled environment to the hospital."
Childers said he has been trying to get First Response to Decatur for years. He said there is a high call volume.
"First response is committed to the city of Decatur," he said. "We have stepped up to provide multiple units and we have no plans of backing outside and leaving the city without coverage."
The addition of the Crossroads ambulance service makes a total of four in Morgan County. All of them use a system with 911 that charts the closest ambulance to the location of the emergency.