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CRS providing 24-hour service at Western Enterprise Co.

April 25, 2010|By DAVE McMILLION

HAGERSTOWN -- Responding to a growing number of ambulance calls in the city, Community Rescue Service has begun providing 24-hour ambulance service at the Western Enterprise Fire Co., according to officials with the ambulance company.

Community Rescue Service has gradually increased its ambulance service at the station along Washington Square since 2007, and the 24 hour, seven-day-a-week service started Feb. 27, Dave Hays, assistant chief of operations for CRS, said last week.

An increase in ambulance calls in Hagerstown is one reason for the increased service, Hays said.

Community Rescue Service, which provides about 96 percent of the ambulance service in the city, had about 8,000 calls in 2007, Hays said. Last year, the department responded to just less than 11,000 calls, Hays said.

The 24-hour service at Western Enterprise Fire Co. will make it easier to serve Hagerstown's West End, Hays said.

The main station for Community Rescue Service is on Eastern Boulevard and Hays said it is sometimes difficult for ambulances to get through traffic downtown when responding to calls on the West End of Hagerstown.

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The Western Enterprise station allows ambulance crews to quickly access areas around City Park, shopping areas along Garland Groh Boulevard and other areas in the West End, CRS officials said.

"This is the main corridor vein," Terry Gearhart, vice president of CRS, said from Western Enterprise Fire Co. last week.

CRS started ambulance service at Western Enterprise in 2007, offering the service five days a week, eight hours a day, Hays said.

Last year, ambulance service at the station was increased to 12 hours a day, seven days a week, Hays said.

The 24-hour ambulance service was funded in part with $75,000 from the City of Hagerstown.

CRS recently added a seventh ambulance to its fleet and hired four additional employees in anticipation of the expanded service, Hays said.

CRS has one other ambulance station at the Maugansville Goodwill Volunteer Fire Co.

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