Ill. ambulance service upset over fire dept. expansion

LifeStar Ambulance Service Inc. is asking for help from Madison County 911 to regain a “fair market share” of business after the fire department expanded


Scott Cousins
The Telegraph, Alton, Ill.

WOOD RIVER, Ill. — A local ambulance service provider is asking for help from Madison County 911 to regain a “fair market share” of business in the Godfrey because of the Alton Fire Department’s ambulance operations.

Members of the Emergency Telephone System Board said they would be willing to hear from company representatives, but said the actual decision on ambulance service is with the Godfrey Fire Protection District.

In an undated letter to interim Director Dana Burris, Maurice Hand Jr. of LifeStar Ambulance Service Inc. complained that their business has seen a “severe decline in responses” since the AFD began offering ambulance service in 2017.

Hand cited an April 2000 letter from then Madison County 911 coordinator David C. Whipple regarding a decision to “change the EMS provider responsibility in the village of Godfrey” by splitting service between Alton Memorial and LifeStar, with Alton Memorial taking over service in the northern half of Godfrey.

ETSB Board Member Tom Voloski brought up the issue.

Chairman Robert Rizzi said it is up to the local fire districts to determine ambulance service, something echoed by other members.

“Who are we to say no? We don’t have the authority,” said Board Member Scott Prange, a former fire chief.

Members agreed for Burris to ask Hand to speak at the next ETSB meeting.

There was also a short update on the 911 consolidation plan. The plan is being revised and must be resubmitted to the state by June 14.

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©2019 The Telegraph (Alton, Ill.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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