City of Woodlake fights to keep its ambulance service in town

CBS47 News

WOODLAKE, Calif. (KGPE) – The City of Woodlake and its surrounding areas have a population of roughly 9,000 people.

On December 1, their one and only ambulance service might be moving to Lemon Cove, which the fire district predicts would almost double the ambulance’s response time to Woodlake.

It’s time that citizens like Debbie – whose husband had a heart attack last year – know can mean the difference between life and death.

“The ambulance got there five minutes after I called. They loaded him up and had him in the ambulance within 15 minutes. What would I have done had they not been there?” she said.

Tulare County has had a contract with Exeter District Ambulance and the American Ambulance out of Visalia since 2018.

According to Paul Main from American Ambulance, the providers are contractually required to be no more than 20 minutes away from any call out of Woodlake or Three Rivers. He says their placement in Woodlake has made it harder to reach Three Rivers.

“We’re trying to cover a large area, and try to meet response time compliance to all of those areas at the same time,” he said.

Main says the ambulance providers are going to meet and discuss their options before any decision is made.

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