Burlington firefighters and city officials say the arrival of a third ambulance is long overdue.
In 2020, 78% of Burlington voters supported the purchase. City leaders say demand for emergency services is up as Burlington grows.
“Not only is this a third ambulance, but it’s two more firefighters on staff 24/7 to respond to any emergency in this community,” said Kyle Blake, president of the Burlington Firefighters Association.
Mayor Miro Weinberger says a decade ago, the city averaged 7,000 fire calls each year. Today, the average is 8,000 calls, forcing the city to rely on neighboring stations for help. He also said the city’s aging population, and changes in how the public accesses emergency services, have increased “significantly.”
“And it was very obvious when we looked at 500 calls for service that we couldn’t handle ourselves as a community, it was reaching a point that is was no longer mutual aid, but it was a supplanting of services,” said Chief Steven Locke.
Locke says the goal is to have an ambulance on arrival within 4 minutes of travel time.
“It is going to significantly reduce the reliance or the wait time or the delay for an arrival of an ambulance,” he said.