Could EMS share building with Camlachie fire department?

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If Lambton County puts a new paramedic station in Camlachie, Plympton-Wyoming may want to talk about relocating its fire department.

That from Plympton-Wyoming Councillor Bob Woolvett during a recent council meeting.
Steven Turner, the manager of EMS, recently came to Plympton-Wyoming council to explain what the paramedic service plans for the next five years including moving a station from Bright’s Grove to Sarnia where the majority of the calls are. The plan also calls for the Grand Bend station to move to the Pinery Park area and the Thedford Station to close with Forest covering that area.

That, Turner says, would allow the county to set up an ambulance station in Camlachie to cover the growing population along the lakeshore.

Plympton-Wyoming council recently heard the county’s plans in person and Jan. 25, councillors endorsed the plan.

But Woolvett, who is the chair of the fire executive committee, went one step further. “We certainly would like to enter into some kind of discussion about the location of our emergency service,” he said.

Mayor Gary Atkinson acknowledged that may be something the municipality and the county could discuss.

“Where this is now is telling them we’re happy with (the plan to serve Camlachie). We like the idea. We’re willing to be a partner and talk to you about it first,” says Atkinson. So, I think on the lines of what you’re saying, councillor, we have an opportunity to have some input as well as the location etc. I don’t think they have anything in mind yet but they’re willing to talk to us about it.”

Meantime, Turner spoke with Brooke-Alvinston councillors about how the five year EMS plan could increase service to that community.

Turner says by adding more service to Sarnia, paramedics from Brigden and Watford would spend more time in their own coverage area, instead of taking calls in Sarnia. That would mean a better response time in Brooke-Alvinston, where currently people can wait up to 27 minutes for paramedics and firefighters are normally the first on the scene of a medical problem.

Turner hopes those moves would be enough to improve service in Brooke-Alvinston, but he is open to recommending a station in Inwood in the future if that didn’t happen.

“We would look to see what the impacts were from the rest of the movements in the master plan, and if they did not have any effect on response times in this area, we would recommend that 12 hours of service be relocated here,” he says.

That would cost about $500,000, Turner told Brooke-Alvinston councillors. And he said any suggestion of a station within Brooke-Alvinston would be at least five years away.

The changes to Sarnia’s service area and the expansion into Camlachie is expected in the next five years.