Last updated: August 24. 2013 1:55AM - 119 Views

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LIMA — Private ambulance providers and the Lima Fire Department are now required to have available only one ambulance for emergency response.

City Council unanimously approved legislation Monday reducing the number of staffed, licensed, equipped ambulances for emergency work from two to one.

A moratorium on the requirement for two ambulances expires this month. The city and private ambulance providers have worked on new regulations after the city’s Fire Department entered the 911 ambulance transport business. While the Fire Department is not bound by the city’s code for private providers, Fire Chief Mark Heffner wanted consistency between the public and private efforts.

Medcorp, one of the city’s two private companies, requested the reduction to relieve financial burdens on the company.

The city and the private companies continue to work on other issues, including establishing an ambulance review board. The city had previously agreed to drop its inspection of the companies, as the state already does the inspections.

About once every three days in 2009 all three ambulance providers were responding to calls at the same time, according to data compiled by Lima Allen County Paramedics. Heffner has said previously three ambulances, rather than the four staffed previously (when both private companies were required to have two) has not posed a problem for emergency service.

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