Since June, the Ann Arbor Fire Department has used a borrowed Huron Valley Ambulance to transport non-urgent patients when HVA’s call volume runs high. It hasn’t been busy: in July, August, and September, it went out a total of only fourteen times. But half those calls came in September, and in October, fire chief Mike Kennedy upped the stakes.

“My recommendation is for AAFD to become self-licensed and purchase our own ambulance, which has a $300K price tag,” Kennedy emails. “This will obviously need to go before Council for approval,” possibly this month.

“That isn’t a surprise,” says HVA CEO Ron Slagell. “Having a vehicle there if there aren’t available ambulances from HVA will be beneficial as long as we don’t change the system.” 

Slagell says the AAFD runs had no impact “negatively at all” on patient outcomes. “The protocols and system are functioning as appropriate.”

And that’s the way Slagell wants to keep it: with the fire department as a supplement rather than an alternative to HVA.