Cambridge Area EMS seeks multi-million dollar station remodel

CAMBRIDGE, Wis. — Cambridge Area EMS is looking for community support and input to help generate more than 6 million dollars for a station remodel.

According to Director Bob Salov, with an increase in population growth in the over 70 acres they serve the need for emergency services has increased but their facility simply can’t keep up.

“It’s way outlasted its usefulness,” said Salov. “We’re still using it of course but we’re very cramped here.”

He said since the station on Highway 12 was built in 1984 call volume has doubled which means more equipment and more staff to meet those needs.

The limited space however has forced EMS crews to live across the street slowing down response time.

“If somebody’s having a cardiac event it’s life and death,” Salov said. “So if we get there two minutes earlier we can start providing them the oxygen that their brain needs to survive.”

The tight quarters also means nine staff members share one office and there isn’t enough space to house all rescue vehicles in the same apparatus–this also affects response times.

But it’s not just the community’s safety that would be improved with a remodel said Cambridge Volunteer Fire Department Chief Terry Johnson.

“They found out in the last five to ten years that firefighters are having a number of health issues due to the apparatus and your turnout gear in the same room,” he said.

Johnson also said a remodel would allow firefighters to move their gear into a separate room away from toxic emissions caused by the station’s diesel rescue trucks.

Plans for the new facility, four years in the making, would include in-house dormitories, a training space, and expanded offices. 

Should the area’s Fire and EMS Commission decide to move forward with the remodel the project will be sent to referendum currently slated for April 2021. 

If it passes in each of the five municipalities served by Cambridge Area EMS the new station could be built as early as 2023.