COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - 8 minutes or less. Collier County leaders want paramedis to respond to calls everywhere in the county in that time. As of now, the current guideline is 8 minutes in urban areas and 12 minutes in rurual parts. But changes are going into effect for fire stations across the county to meet the new goal.
"Some of those will start now and it's a progressive of adding resources as we go along," said Collier County's EMS Chief Walter Kopka.
That means relocating ambulances, adding crews, and one day, new stations. The first changes start this weekend, when a seasonal ambulance is added to Marco Island. The rest of the county will see changes by April 1st.
"About 890,000 dollars to do most of that start costs by April 1st," said Chief Kopka.
That money will come from taxpayers through the county's general fund. Leaderss aid East Naples and North Naples will beneft the most from the changes as they have the most deficiencies.
"It would add another ambulance in the North Naples Fire District so I really think that's a positive thing for the residents of our district," said Orly Stolts, North Naples Fire District Chief.
"We're quite excited because we look at some opportunities to increase our capabilities, our joint capabilites, and our response times to providing ALS care as quickly as possible," said Kingman Schuldt, East Naples Golden Gate Fire Chief.
WINK News is learning this is all part of a bigger ten year plan that will include more ambulances and new facilities.
"We are a county wide service and improving upon that is always a good thing," said Chief Kopka.
These changes also mean new jobs. The county will hire 9 more paramedics by October 1st.