Mayor rejects budget for ambulance service at new fire station, alder concerned about response times

Mayor rejects budget for ambulance service at new fire station, alder concerned about response times

A new fire station designed to cut down response times may not get a new ambulance. Madison Mayor Paul Soglin rejected a request to provide this service at Fire Station 14 near Stoughton Road.

News 3 has been following this story since 2013, when a man died in an apartment fire where it took more than 10 minutes for fire crews to arrive. In 2015, data showed response times were particularly bad for the Stoughton Road area, with emergency crews sometimes taking nearly 17 minutes to arrive.

Station 14 was proposed by Madison’s fire chief and the former alder for the neighborhood to help alleviate response time issues. Without the ambulance service provided here, that may not happen.

Michael Tierney is now the alder for this part of town. He said budget issues are at the forefront of the mayor’s decision.

“The city of Madison and a lot of other municipalities in the state, it’s really put a stranglehold on our ability to provide what is a basic service,” Tierney said.

While Tierney said he is working to get a budget approved to add an ambulance service, until that happens, all calls that require an ambulance will need another station to respond to that call. Tierney said the response time can take twice as long in these instances.

“It’s a concern for them,” Tierney said. “If there’s an emergency in one part of the city, stations in another part of the city have to be able to respond.”

Tierney said there’s a lot of pieces to this puzzle to work out before they can approve an ambulance being placed here. He says he’s doing all he can to make sure that happens.

“If we absolutely cannot get the ambulance right away, I’m trying to figure out how do we elevate the level of service,” he said.