Lifestar Ambulance has provided service to the city of Jacksonville and the surrounding area for three decades already, and with recent news regarding other emergency service agencies, Lifestar plans on sticking around for the foreseeable future.
Officials with Lifestar Ambulance held a press conference this morning at their local headquarters to reaffirm their commitment to the Jacksonville area. On hand at today’s press conference was Lifestar President and CEO Roger Campbell, as well as Dave Goss, longtime manager of the Jacksonville office.
With Passavant Area Hospital discontinuing ambulance services at the end of March, and the recent announcement that America Ambulance is leaving Jacksonville, Lifestar stands alone as the city’s primary emergency response unit.
Lifestar and Passavant have worked in conjunction with one another for a number of years. However, as Campbell explains, when it comes to the medical industry, more services doesn’t automatically mean better service.
“We had had conversations back many years ago when Passavant had the paramedic service and we were not paramedic services. At that point in time, it was determined that it was actually a cost-saving move for our company to become paramedic and them discontinue as they have been doing. There was a duplication of services. The one unique thing about the medical industry, be it: the hospital, laboratory services, x-ray clinics, ambulance services… The more you have is not necessarily better.”
With now just one ambulance service, Campbell says he’s very confident that LifeStar will continue providing quality service.
“If you can imagine… If you had two hospitals in Jacksonville and they both had the same cost that one has, the rates must be higher. This is one of the things that entered into the fact of two ambulance services. It sometimes sounds good, initially, but it’s not in a town the sign of Jacksonville. But we had serviced this area for many many years before there were two ambulance services, and I have no doubt in my mind that our company and our associates will continue to do so and do a job well done.”
In terms of the money, Campbell assures local residents that there will be no increases in the cost of services.
“They can expect absolutely no price increase. I don’t think they will see anything different than they’ve seen before. We are adding staff and vehicles to be able to handle that. Also, in a situation such as mass casualty, which sometimes happens, we have several units in the Springfield area that’s 25 to 30 minutes away. That group in Springfield has also made the commitment, if there is a need and there are transfers that need to be made and units are not available, to do those transfers; they will come and assist Jacksonville to help out, if need be.”
Lifestar Ambulance was established in Centralia back in 1973 and expanded to serve the Jacksonville community in 1988.