Fort Fairfield welcomes new ambulance service

FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine - Change in the Fort Fairfield Community. Those dialing 911 in need of an ambulance will no longer see a vehicle from Northern Light Emergency Medical Transport - they'll see one from the city of Presque Isle. The decision went into effect at the beginning of this month. News Source 8's Katie Zarrilli reports.

New month, new ambulance service. On the first of May the town of Fort Fairfield began a year long contract to receive ambulance services from the city of Presque Isle. Fort Fairfield used to use Northern Light Emergency Medical Transport - but the two entities reached an impasse during contract negotiations. The result- change.

Fort Fairfield's Police Chief, Shawn Newell, says "We are doing a one year contract, we will continue to review it and ultimately we will see how that service works."

The city ambulance comes out of the Presque Isle Fire Department - and fire chief Darrell White has no qualms about adding an extra community to his load.

Presque Isle Fire Chief Darrell White says "The staffing level we have and the call volume generated out of Fort Fairfield, we are comfortable being able to handle that."

Chief White says this comes at no cost to the Star City taxpayer. In a statement, Northern Light AR Gould's president said the hospital "respects the decision" and is focusing their resources on towns who have committed to utilize their services. Chief Newell says the town's priority in it all - is the people.

"The most important thing about this change is that our citizens continue to receive excellent quality of service and that's the main focus, it's not about money, whose ambulance is providing it," says Newell.

And so far, so good. The city ambulance has responded to about ten calls in Fort Fairfield.

Newell says "We've received a lot of positive feedback from the folks that required the ambulance received, so that makes us very happy that the system is working very well."

Chief White says so far all has been well on his end too.