New ambulance service rolls out at Hill AFB
By Richard Essary, 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 17, 2021
HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Hill Air Force Base Fire and Emergency Services and the 75th Medical Group rolled out a new ambulance service this month that will serve more than 25,000 workers and residents here.
The new service includes two ambulances operating out of Fire Station No. 1 and one from Fire Station No. 5 located at the Utah Test and Training Range.
Hill F&ES Fire Chief Javie Blanco said the ambulance service was established to “significantly improve ambulance transport times” by reducing the time it takes to respond to emergencies on base and get patients to receiving hospitals.
“The goal has always been to better serve the Hill Air Force Base populace and families,” Blanco said. “We are ready to serve Team Hill with outstanding emergency medical service care.”
On average, the installation sees 350 medical emergencies and 1,200 total emergencies annually. The nature of those emergencies range from sick calls to serious trauma injuries to life-threatening events such as cardiac arrests.
Prior to the new arrangement, Hill AFB relied exclusively on ambulances in the local community to provide emergency transport services under memorandums of understanding.
Blanco said while the off-base ambulances provide “outstanding service,” response times can average 20 minutes because of the time it takes to travel from off base to the emergency.
“The base can now expect an ambulance to arrive on scene in around seven minutes or less,” he said. “This will greatly improve patient transport times to receiving hospitals and improve medical emergency outcomes for patients.”
A cost savings will result from the new service as well.
“The cost of a contract ambulance can average well over $1.5 million per year,” Blanco said. “With Hill Air Force Base now providing its own ambulance transport service, significant tax dollars will be saved.”
The process took Hill AFB F&ES and 75th MDG more than two years of collecting data, establishing training protocols and coordinating with the Air Force Surgeon General to bring the service to Hill AFB.
“It’s been a long road,” Blanco said. “It was well worth it knowing the base is getting the medical emergency service it deserves.”