Gilbert to host open house on ambulance service expansion

Gilbert Medic 253
Medic 253 is the first ambulance put in service by the Gilbert Fire & Rescue Department. (Courtesy Gilbert Fire & Rescue Department)

Medic 253 is the first ambulance put in service by the Gilbert Fire & Rescue Department. (Courtesy Gilbert Fire & Rescue Department)

Gilbert Fire & Rescue Department will host a virtual open house at 5 p.m. Aug. 13 to discuss the possibility of the town expanding its ambulance line of service.

The open house will include Town Manager Patrick Banger, Fire Chief Jim Jobusch and Ambulance Service Manager Tiffany Fields.

The public is invited to ask questions before or during the open house, which will be held through Microsoft Teams.

The town also is conducting a survey to gather feedback on the proposed expansion.

Gilbert began offering ambulance service in November out of Fire Station No. 3. Since then, town staff told council they have grown more concerned about protecting the line of service as well as difficulties in negotiations with American Medical Rescue, which provides most of the ambulance service in town.


Money was set aside in the fiscal year 2020-21 budget to potentially expand the town’s ambulance service, but the item drew sharp criticism from Council Members Aimee Yentes and Jared Taylor for the town competing against private enterprise.

Vice Mayor Scott Anderson also expressed concern about the transparency and the lack of opportunity for the public to be involved in discussions about expanding town ambulance service. The item was brought to council for presentation on the same night as preliminary approval of the budget.

In response, staff promised council opportunities for public input, leading to the open house and survey.
By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


MOST RECENT

4 business changes to know in Gilbert

Here are four business changes coming to Gilbert.

Medical marijuana facilities across the state can now apply for recreational marijuana licenses, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Arizona Department of Health Services begins approving licenses for recreational marijuana

Medical marijuana facilities across the state can now apply for recreational marijuana licenses, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Copper 48
Nico Heirloom Kitchen rebrands as Copper 48 gastropub in Gilbert

The new concept is for a gastropub with broader appeal and a more eclectic wine list.

Higley USD governing board
Higley USD proposes 5% employee salary increase to board

Higley USD staff is giving an early recommendation to the governing board that the district increase employee salaries 5% in fiscal year 2021-22, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Brigette Peterson
Gilbert Town Council amends codes to address marijuana at residences

Gilbert Town Council passed new building and fire code amendments Jan. 19 related to safety issues associated with residential marijuana growth and extraction facilities.

On Jan. 13, the Chandler USD governing board voted 3-2, with Lara Bruner and Lindsay Love dissenting, to resume in-person instruction for all grade levels Jan. 19 after a imposing virtual learning for two weeks. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Chandler Education Association: Some teachers, parents feel 'ignored' after board decides to resume in-person learning

The Chandler Education Association released a statement imploring the district to return to virtual learning.

Town of Gilbert mural
Gilbert looks to fill openings on two more boards

The town of Gilbert has announced it is looking for applicants to fill openings on two town boards and commissions.

Kung Pow Restaurant
Panda Libre in Gilbert changes name to Kung Pow Restaurant

The restaurant now serves Chinese food, and the majority of its menu has been revamped.

The Arizona Department of Health Services is expanding who can get COVID-19 vaccinations in Arizona. (Courtesy Baylor College of Medicine)
More COVID-19 vaccination appointments available Jan. 19; plus, see where you can get your COVID-19 vaccination in Maricopa County

The Arizona Department of Health Services is expanding who can get COVID-19 vaccinations in Arizona.

Here is what you need to know today about coronavirus in Gilbert. (Community Impact Newspaper)
COVID-19: Gilbert cases increase by 484 over two days

Here are the COVID-19 data updates to know today.

Here are the coronavirus hospitalization data updates to know across Arizona. (Community Impact staff)
Number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 down slightly

Take a look at the hospitalization data across Arizona.

The location's decor will pay homage to the town's history as the "Hay Shipping Capital of the World." (Courtesy Cracker Barrel Old Country Store)
Cracker Barrel coming to Gilbert; wine bar set for Chandler and more top Phoenix-area news

Read the most popular news from the past week in Chandler and Gilbert.