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CRS move to improve service

August 28, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - In an effort to improve emergency services throughout the city, a Community Rescue Service Inc. ambulance stationed at Antietam Fire Co. on Summit Avenue was moved Monday to Western Enterprise Fire Co. at Washington Square.

The move also makes way for a new vehicle that Antietam Fire Co. recently bought.

The four-door truck, which cost about $100,000, will be used to transport volunteer firefighters throughout the city, Capt. James Sprecher said.

"Antietam Fire Co. is strong with volunteers right now, and some other city companies are lacking volunteers, so this vehicle allows Antietam to send its volunteers to other communities," he said.

CRS has based an ambulance at Antietam Fire Co. since Feb. 12, according to Dave Hays, CRS assistant chief.

It's important to keep an ambulance downtown, instead of at the Eastern Boulevard main station, so the ambulance doesn't have to contend with traffic in the Eastern Boulevard area when traveling to the West End on emergency calls, Hays said.

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The ambulance is staffed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Its new location will improve response times to central and western parts of Hagerstown, Hays said.

The ambulance will access certain parts of the city from different points, but both stations provide "optimal access" to all parts of the city, he said.

"The west end of the city needs a service like that," said James Schaffer, president of the Western Enterprise Fire Co.

CRS officials hope to staff the ambulance 24 hours a day within the next 12 months, and are figuring out how to fund that staff increase, he said.

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