South Whitley ambulance fight fails – for 3rd time

WHITLEY COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) A request to add another ambulance in Whitley County to service the town of South Whitley has failed – again.

The Whitley County commissioners on Tuesday failed to support a motion to add another ambulance in the county. This was the third time such a motion has failed.

It was November when the town of South Whitley signed an agreement with Lutheran Health to add an ambulance and dispatch it through the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department. Shortly there after, though, the county commissioners road blocked it.

As it stands, Whitley County is serviced by three ambulances, dispatched through Parkview Health. While Parkview has claimed it meets the standard ambulance response time of 13 minutes or less 85 percent of the time, South Whitley Town Council President Randall Cokl has argued the system is inefficient.

After the town signed the agreement with Lutheran, Cokl said Lutheran staffed the rig, branded it and leased facilities, and was just waiting for dispatching.

For the third time, the county commissioners on Tuesday ruled that won’t come from the county.

Commissioner Don Amber motioned to support bringing in the ambulance. Commissioners George Schrumpf and Thomas Western, who represents South Whitley’s Cleveland Township, did not offer a second to the motion, though, and it died.

Sheriff Marcus Gatton pledged to move forward. He asked the commissioners to again reconsider.