Firefighter ambulance service to end in Mattoon

MATTOON, Ill. (WAND) – Mattoon firefighters say they will no longer operate ambulances after a late July date.

Mattoon Fire Chief Anthony Nichols says July 25 will be the last day for the firefighters’ ambulances. The firefighter union, called the Mattoon Firefighters Association, has been involved in a legal battle with Mattoon city leaders since July 2017, when the city council voted to end city-run ambulance services.

City Administrator Kyle Gill has argued the city is losing about $600,000 a year through fire department-operated ambulances. With the change, two private companies will be operating Mattoon ambulances. They were previously sharing those duties with firefighters in a three-week rotation system.

Nichols says he expects an ordinance to regulate those private companies to be heard at the next Mattoon city council meeting, which is scheduled for July 3.

He issued an email on Thursday to thank Mattoon firefighters for their work with the ambulance service.

“I want to thank everyone for the hard work that has gone into building what we had, and I really appreciate everything you put into your jobs,” Nichols said.

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