Mattoon council to consider ambulance stoppage

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MATTOON, Ill. (WAND) – Mattoon leaders could decide to take down the city’s ambulance service.

City officials cited falling revenue streams and a serious of annual budget cuts as their reasoning behind the potential change. Mattoon’s city council will hear a proposal to stop the service Tuesday night.

The town has two private ambulance services who respond to local emergency calls.

Mattoon’s fire department is critical of the possible change, saying it wouldn’t be in the city’s best interest because response times could take longer. Charleston ambulances have been used in recent years to answer emergencies in Mattoon.

"In 2005 and 2006 we got into the ambulance service if you want to call it that because the city of Charleston was coming over here 40 or 50 times a year just to back up when we didn't have an ambulance,” said Bart Owen, Mattoon Fire Department engineer and president of the Local 691 Union. “And I've been on many calls where you would wait 20 minutes for an ambulance, and 20 minutes is a long time to wait when you're on a call."

Tuesday night’s meeting will be in Mattoon’s city hall at 6:30 p.m.

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