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Ambulance calls reaching peak

The Callaway County Ambulance District is on track to have another record year for call volume.

For 2013, district crews have responded to 1,884 calls through the end of May — 254 more than the same period in 2012.

“At this pace, we’ll do almost 4,500 calls (for 2013), which would be our busiest year ever, and I don’t see any signs it’s slowing down,” CCAD Director Charles Anderson told the board of directors during its regular meeting Tuesday night. “We’re averaging 12 1/2 calls per 24-hour shift, with calls taking an average of 90 to 120 minutes to complete, and that doesn’t necessarily include time on writing reports.”

Medical Director James Stevermer asked during Tuesday night’s meeting whether that increase is becoming a strain on district resources.

“We are seeing more frequently situations where we’re having to do all-call or send myself or Linda (Ellis, assistant director) or the on-duty supervisor having to go out because we’re at status zero,” Anderson responded, noting evenings often seem to be especially busy. “We’re seeing that happen several times a week now. We’re also seeing where crews are up a lot more for the entire 24-hour shift.”

Despite that, Anderson said Wednesday afternoon that the district is not yet at a point where it needs to seriously consider adding personnel or another crew to shifts.

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