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Defunct ambulance service lending hand in Oregon

Owners giving building, vehicles to fire department

Published: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

OREGON – Although it’s not official yet, plans are in the works to transfer the Oregon Ambulance Service Inc. building and vehicles to the Oregon Fire Protection District.

Betty Ferris, who managed the service with her husband, Jim, said the building at 101 Madison St. and two ambulances were given to the fire district on July 1.

“That’s where they should go,” she said. “We have to complete the paperwork yet.”

Attorneys for both entities are working out the details, Fire Chief Don Heller said Monday.

“It’s not officially done,” he said. “The lawyers are still negotiating.”

The matter is on the agenda for tonight’s fire protection district board of trustees meeting, which will begin at 7 at the district’s administration building, 106 S. First St.

The nonprofit Oregon Ambulance Service Inc. closed its doors June 17, leaving Oregon without its own ambulance service.

Ferris closed for financial reasons, she said. She notified the fire board at its June 11 meeting.

The Oregon Fire Protection District is one of very few fire districts without a tax-supported ambulance service. Fire district officials likely will place a referendum to tax for an ambulance service on the ballot either in November or April.

District officials signed a 10-month contract last week with ATS Medical Services of Loves Park for ambulance service; an ATS ambulance and crew have been based at the Oregon Fire Station and answering calls since July 1.

“The ambulance service is going well,” Heller said Monday, adding that ATS responded to at least a dozen calls in its first few days in Oregon.

Calls between June 17 and July 1 were handled by neighboring fire departments’ ambulance services.

The fire district, which is 120 square miles and bordered by 10 other fire districts, includes all of Oregon-Nashua Township and portions of Pine Creek, Pine Rock, White Rock, Rockvale, Marion, Grand Detour, and Taylor townships.

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