GODFREY - A potential lease agreement between Survival Flight EMS and the Village of Godfrey is on hold again after Tuesday’s Village Board meeting. Trustees voted unanimously to table the item once more after Godfrey Fire Protection District Chief Eric Cranmer asked them to act with more urgency during what he called an “ambulance crisis.”
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“I’m really disappointed in how the trustees are handling this issue,” Cranmer said. “For those of you who don’t know, we are in an ambulance crisis.
“Since Aug. 31, we’ve had 59 medical calls. Fifteen of those have been mutual aid - Jerseyville Ambulance, Alton Fire. Our average wait time for this mutual aid is about 20 minutes. Survival Flight’s coming, they’ve got a contract with St. Anthony’s, so I really wish you all would kind of get off your tails and get this taken care of.”
Survival Flight seeks to lease Godfrey Fire Station #1 as their new “home base of operations” once the Fire Protection District moves into their new fire station in mid-January 2023. They’re also planning to bring on-ground ambulance services to the area through a partnership with St. Anthony’s Hospital in Alton. They aim for those on-ground ambulance services to be operational by Nov. 6, 2023.
Trustee Jeff Weber said he disagreed with the notion trustees aren’t doing anything, and said the village can’t approve a lease on property it doesn’t own.
“I don’t think I’m sitting on my rear end up here when I’m saying I want to delay it - I have reasons I want to delay it,” Weber said. “First of all, are you familiar with [the fact] Godfrey doesn’t even own the building?”
Under an agreement between the village and the Fire Protection District, Weber said that once the Fire Protection District vacates Fire Station #1, they are to sell it and donate the proceeds to the village.
“My whole point is, we are in a crisis here,” Cranmer said. “I pray it’s not any of you laying there waiting for an ambulance.”
Ultimately, trustees tabled the lease agreement for 90 days to give them more time to sort through the details.
A full recording from Tuesday’s Village Board meeting is available at the top of this story or on Riverbender.com/video.
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