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Ambulance staying in RV

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Rural/Metro has apparently changed its mind about moving the ambulance stationed in Rio Verde. Last week Rio Verde Fire District Chief Gary Bradbury issued a statement indicating the company had rescinded its previous decision. “The ambulance serving the Verde communities and surrounding area located at Rio Verde Fire Station 441 will remain in place,” Bradbury said.

On March 5, the district received notification from Rural/Metro stating that the firm intended to terminate the contract for ambulance services with the district and move the ambulance. Rural/Metro stated its plan was to move the ambulance to a new fi re station to be located on Rio Verde Dr. at 162nd Street. “The Rio Verde Fire District Board of Directors responded aggressively to this notification,” Bradbury said. “Since then, subsequent discussions between Rural Metro Vice President John Karolzak and (Chief Bradbury) resulted in a renewed commitment to keep the ambulance at the Rio Verde Fire Station. “Discussions have also reaffirmed the importance of the partnership between the two organizations and the commitment to maintain the highest level of emergency medical services possible.” Fire Board Chairman Berdie Pasenelli told The Times the board did tell Rural/Metro it would file a lawsuit challenging the move. “They wanted to make the move in two weeks,” Pasenelli said. “We reminded them they had a contract that requires 180 days (to terminate).” Prior to the ambulance being posted at the Rio Verde Fire Station, Rural/Metro was not meeting its response times for the ambulance units, according to Pasenelli. “We let them know we would file suit,” she said. “There have been a couple of lives saved because the ambulance was right there.”

Pasenelli said there is new management at Rural/Metro that was willing to sit down and talk about the situation. “We are happy they have done this,” Pasenelli said. “I pledge to work together for the good of our community.”

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