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The city of Muncie is considering creating its own ambulance service.
Wochit

MUNCIE, Ind. — Mayor Dennis Tyler is considering creating a city ambulance service, staffed by Muncie firefighters, that would take over duties that have been performed for decades by the Delaware County Emergency Medical Service.

The move comes just as $2 million in federal SAFER funding, which keeps 16 of the city’s 110 firefighters employed, runs out in a few months, potentially ending their jobs.

As the possibility of a city ambulance service is discussed, so are potential stations for it. Among the suggested locations is a former fire station owned by a veteran Muncie police officer’s private company, a possibility city officials denied in a Facebook post Saturday, a day after this story was published online.

In that Facebook post, the city confirms that it is “looking at how ambulance service is provided to other second-class cities … (in) a desire to provide the best service to the citizens of Muncie. … Response times of ambulance service would be greatly improved if ambulance services were provided by the Muncie Fire Department.”

Tyler has expressed interest in a city ambulance service, or at least revenue from the county’s service, before. The Star Press reported in 2014 that Tyler considered creating the city’s own ambulance service but ultimately asked Delaware County officials about the possibility of adding $100 to the cost, then $750 to $900 a run, charged by county EMS for runs within the city limits. That extra $100 per run would have gone to the city.

Nothing came of that discussion and Muncie City Council created a public safety income tax in 2015 to help fund local emergency services. But now, county officials tell The Star Press they’re hearing that Tyler is once again talking about a city ambulance service.

Delaware County Commissioner James King said he’s asked the county attorney to write a letter to Tyler, asking him to clarify his intentions.

“I’ve asked our attorney to draft a letter to the mayor,” King said. “Asking the city if they’re looking at creating their own…