Reading fire protection district will meet Tuesday to talk about future of emergency ambulance service

Protection district has the option to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with Streator

An Advanced Medical Transport ambulance parked in front of Streator City Hall on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, as its personnel attended a City Council Committee of the Whole meeting to discuss the future of emergency ambulance service in the community.

The Reading Fire Protection District will talk about the future of emergency ambulance service in an open meeting 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, at the Reading Township Fire Department, 1624 S. Vermillion St.

The city of Streator has offered the fire protection district the option to enter into an intergovernmental agreement to provide 911 ambulance service to the district, but the finances of such a deal will be challenging for the district, said Trustee and Treasurer Tom Metzke.

Metzke said last week the district has decided it will need more revenue regardless of what decision it makes on emergency ambulance service and will seek a referendum on the April ballot to raise taxes. Metzke said the district will meet to work out more details on what to do in the interim prior to Streator’s council meeting 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, at City Hall, 204 S. Bloomington St.

Metzke has been researching the district’s options, including entering into an intergovernmental agreement with Streator or seeing if AMT can continue to provide service, but trustees want to choose a provider that’s best for the district. He said one option after the referendum may be for Reading to have its own emergency ambulance service.

Streator City Manager David Plyman said last week the city will work with the fire protection district, but will seek to recoup its costs after a referendum.

In 2021, AMT responded to 368 Reading calls. Plyman said he modeled the cost of extending ambulance service to Reading based off what Cornell will pay Pontiac for service. Cornell will be paying $485 per call to Pontiac to provide emergency ambulance service.

Streator is launching its emergency ambulance service Oct. 1 as Advanced Medical Transport, its previous provider, will cease its operations in the city.