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CRS expands downtown Hagerstown ambulance service

April 28, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

Community Rescue Service expanded operating hours for its downtown Hagerstown ambulance Sunday in response to an increase in 911 calls downtown, rescue service officials said in a news release.

The CRS ambulance at the city's Western Enterprise Fire Station at 526 Washington Square will be in operation seven days a week for 12 hours each day, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., CRS Chief Financial Officer Terry Trovinger said. Formerly, it operated from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. five days a week, he said.

CRS, a nonprofit ambulance company, provides emergency medical service to about 75 square miles of the city of Hagerstown and parts of Washington County, Trovinger said. Two CRS ambulances are in service and staffed 24 hours a day at Eastern Boulevard in Hagerstown and one ambulance operates from Maugansville Fire Station 24 hours a day, he said.

The company decided to increase the hours for the downtown ambulance after noting an increase in 911 calls in downtown Hagerstown over the past two years, Trovinger said. About 62 percent of the company's 911 calls are within the territory of the Western Enterprise ambulance, he said.

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The company is expanding the hours on its own initiative, without additional funding from the city or county, Trovinger said.

The company, which operated for decades on volunteer help, now has 22 full-time and 29 part-time staff members, in addition to volunteers, he said.

The company's goal is to respond to 911 calls within three to four minutes, Trovinger said.

"That is what the public expects, and we are dedicated to providing care in a timely manner," he said.

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