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Florida Ambulance Service Improved Response Times and Saved Money

More than 100 people a day are taken to a local hospital by a Marion County ambulance - and they are getting there faster and, for taxpayers, less expensively than in the recent past.

So says a new report that provides an overview of the ambulance service of the first year since Marion County Fire Rescue took it over from a nonprofit agency.

The report, which analyzes the performance of the county ambulance service between October 2008 and September 2009, will be presented to the County Commission on Tuesday.

In all areas, the report maintains, county Fire Rescue has improved the ambulance corps since assuming those duties from the Emergency Medical Services Alliance, or EMSA.

EMSA was the public-private partnership formed in 2003 by the county, the city of Ocala and Ocala's two hospitals. It was born after Munroe Regional Medical Center opted to quit operating the ambulance fleet. The partnership dissolved in September 2008 when the contract ran out.

Once that happened, the board made Fire Rescue's mission "to maintain uninterrupted service at the same or better level while improving the cost effectiveness and financial performance through the transition," the document says.

Overall, it adds, "this decision and its outcome after one year of service have proven extremely successful."

Read More, Report says ambulance more efficient, cheaper

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