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City of Lincoln
Mayor's Department
Citizen Information Center Division
2000 Media Release


August 30, 2000
For More Information Contact:
Mark Bowen, Mayor Wesely’s Chief of Staff, 441-7511

Mayor Confident in Firefighter’s Ability to Provide Improved Emergency Ambulance Service

"With such a low threshold of the number of signatures needed it is not surprising that those wanting to prevent the city’s valued and hardworking firefighters from providing emergency ambulance service may have obtained enough signatures to place the amendment on the ballot.

My recommendation and the City Council’s decision to have the Fire Department provide emergency ambulance service was a good decision made after a thorough examination of the facts that the Fire Department could provide the emergency ambulance service better, faster and cheaper. I believe that citizens have confidence in their firefighters’ ability to respond to emergencies. Citizens recognize that the Fire Department responds to every emergency and will provide fast, efficient, high quality ambulance service just as they do now for fire protection. Having the Fire Department provide ambulance service will end the duplication of a separate ambulance service and the Fire Department will save the taxpayer money since the ambulance service will generate revenue to help offset the reliance on taxpayer funding. Quite simply citizens realize that the Fire Department can provide the service better, faster and cheaper.

It is unfortunate that a small group of individuals continue to try to obstruct the cooperation, progress and support that exists for the city’s firefighters to provide the same high quality service for emergency ambulance service as they do in fighting fires in the city of Lincoln. The cooperation continues to proceed as was evidenced by the public hearing held this week where the Lancaster County Medical Society, EMS Inc. and the city have worked out improvements on independent medical oversight. Quality care is the bottom line and the improvements to independent medical oversight show the spirit of cooperation that continues to develop for the city’s firefighters to provide emergency ambulance service," said Mayor Don Wesely when he was asked to comment.

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