Chillicothe residents rally to try and save volunteer ambulance service

By Denise Jackson

September 3, 2012 Updated Sep 4, 2012 at 9:07 AM CDT

CHILLICOTHE, Ill. -- Time is running out for Chillicothe residents to save the city's free, volunteer-run ambulance service, but that didn't stop one group from trying.

Members of "Save Our Ambulance-Rescue 33" held a breakfast fundraiser on Monday.

The event comes at a critical time for the organization, as the Peoria area EMS is suspending Rescue 33's license for lagging response times and lack of staff.

Rescue 33 President, Ron Hadden, says the group has actively been working to reorganize the program, hiring seven paid EMT's.

"What it all means is that a volunteer run system, the way it always ran for the past 45 years, can not keep up with today's society and standards. It is too big of a strain on our volunteers," said Hadden.

Ron Hadden says "rescue 33" ambulance service plans to challenge the suspension. Beginning Tuesday, Advanced Medical Transport of Peoria will handle 9-1-1 calls for the agency.

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