STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – The city of Struthers is the latest community in the area to add ambulance services, filling the void for private companies that are cutting back.

The city recently purchased a used ambulance and had it equipped. A number of firefighters are already EMT certified and the department has about a dozen of its volunteers who are trained as well.

Safety Service Director Bob Benson stresses the move isn’t meant to replace private companies.

“If we cannot get a response in a reasonable amount of time, we will tone out our volunteers to come and staff our ambulance and make the transport,” Benson said. “We wouldn’t have the personnel to staff full time, so we’re just trying to supplement and help.”

While the Struthers Fire Department intends to use its ambulance when private companies aren’t available, the department and others in Mahoning County are working together to make sure medical calls are staffed.

“We all recognized that that’s the only way we’re gonna get through it is through our department teamwork,” said Western Reserve Fire District Chief David Comstock.

Comstock said the bulk of his department’s calls is for medical emergencies. Although the district has three ambulances, a levy on the November ballot would provide $1.1 million to fully staff two of them 24 hours a day.

“We just don’t have the staff in the stations, and it’s critical that if we want to get an ambulance there quickly and guaranteed, we have to have bodies in the stations,” Comstock said.

And be less reliant on private EMS.