(Rolling Prairie, IN) - The new La Porte County ambulance base is now in service. The facility at Rolling Prairie began responding to calls Monday at 8 a.m.
EMS Administrator Andrew McGuire said the base will respond to medical calls in the area roughly from Springville north to the Michigan state line and east to Hudson Lake then south to the Mill Creek area.
McGuire said he expects response times to improve dramatically since Rolling Prairie is in the middle of a service area previously covered by ambulances traveling longer distances from the base in City of La Porte.
“Some of those areas up on 1000 North that we responded to all the way from downtown La Porte, you’re talking about a 15 minute, 16 minute response time. We can cut that down probably to about five minutes from the Rolling Prairie base location,” he said.
La Porte County Commission President Joe Haney said the ambulance base is a longtime coming.
“This has been something the county has been trying to do for well over 20, 30 years now. When I came on board the commission, I made it a priority item,” he said.
For now, McGuire said one ambulance is operating from the facility staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He said the facility has two bays for a second ambulance if another one is needed depending on future call volume.
The ambulance base along with a new La Porte County Highway Department garage are on a site that was once an Indiana Department of Transportation owned rest stop near U.S. 20 and Indiana 2.
The cost of constructing of both facilities was over $2 million.
La Porte County Highway Department Superintendent Al Stevens said the new highway garage should be operating within the next few weeks.