Fla. fire dept. to receive its first ambulance

Newberry officials were prompted to build an ambulance bay after a child bitten by a rattlesnake had to wait 45 minutes for an EMS crew to arrive

By FireRescue1 Staff

NEWBERRY, Fla. — A fire department received its first ambulance after city officials were prompted to fix long response times.

WCJB reported that the city of Newberry’s need for an ambulance was highlighted when Benjamin Smith, 11, was bitten by a rattlesnake.

 “Bitten by the upper thigh, which is one of the worst places to be bitten,” Benjamin’s father, Morgan, said.

Morgan drove Benjamin to the fire department, where they were forced to wait 45 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.

City officials were inspired by the Smiths’ story to build a local ambulance bay, a project that has been in the works for more than eight months, and the Alachua County Commission recently voted to approve funding for the city’s first ambulance.

“If you're in need of immediate medical attention, it makes a difference,” Smith said.

The ambulance should arrive at the station by next spring, and Mayor Jordan Marlowe said officials hope to reduce response times down to eight to ten minutes. 

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