GOLDEN VALLEY - River Medical has opened a second ambulance station in Golden Valley.
The new station is located on Highway 68 at Estrella Road in the far west section of Golden Valley. River Medical also operates a station in the northeast portion of Golden Valley off of Hope Road that houses two ambulances. Residents are invited to stop by the new station, located at 7525 West Highway 68, to meet the paramedics and EMTs and to have their blood pressure checked for no charge. River Medical Operations Supervisor Chuck Waalkens said the addition will help improve response times. The Department of Health Services requires that emergency personnel dispatched by 911 reach a scene within 10 minutes 61 percent of the time.
Waalkens said it wasn't that River Medical had a problem meeting those standards but rather that they were looking to improve on them. He said officials began evaluating response times about three months ago, around the same time the Golden Valley Fire District announced its intention to challenge River Medical for its Certificate of Necessity.
A CON is required to provide ambulance service and can only be held be one agency in an area.
Waalkens said the timing of adding a station could be interpreted by some as a response to the move by Golden Valley fire, but said that wasn't necessarily the case.
"We're constantly reevaluating opportunities to improve our response," he said.
River Medical began providing paramedic services to the Golden Valley Fire District and surrounding areas in 1988. The company responded to calls from a station in the Kingman area before it placed an ambulance in a district fire station.
They moved into their own station on Hope Road in 2006.
Hearings on the CON issue between River Medical and the Fire District are expected to be held later this year in Phoenix.
Golden Valley Chief Paul Hewitt announced he was leaving the district in February to take another position in Utah, but said he intends to attend the hearings on behalf of the district.