HOBART | Starting Friday, the city's Fire Department will see a return to three staffed ambulances, said Councilman John Brezik, D-5th.
An ambulance is scheduled to be replaced starting at 9 a.m. at Fire Station No. 2, 2411 W. Old Ridge Road, which is in Brezik's district.
"It's been returned as promised," Brezik said.
Brezik, who made the announcement at the end of the City Council meeting, declined to comment further because Mayor Brian Snedecor had to leave early.
Fire officials in the fall of 2011 announced Fire Station No. 2 had been closed and firefighters were reassigned to Fire Station No. 1.
Despite the announcement, both the mayor and Brezik at subsequent meetings continued to debate the status of Fire Station No. 2 when asked about staffing.
On Wednesday, Brezik still declined to call Fire Station No. 2 closed.
"It's less serviced," Brezik said.
The addition of an ambulance at Fire Station No. 2 falls on the heels of the Feb. 25 removal of an ambulance from Fire Station No. 1, 400 E. 10th St.
Fire officials removed the ambulance from Fire Station No. 1 on a 60-day trial basis, Fire Chief Brian Taylor said.
The temporary plan entailed adding a new advanced life support engine at Fire Station No. 1, Taylor said.
The Fire Department continues to operate two full-time advanced life support ambulances out of Fire Stations Nos. 3 and 4.
Professional Firefighters Local 1641 union President Tom Castle said he was opposed to removal of the ambulance from Fire Station No. 1, which reduced the number of emergency medical services staff ambulances from three to two.
A few years ago, the city operated four ambulances, Castle said.
The status of the city's emergency medical services has continued to be a hot issue since Jan. 9, when several city officials met with Superior Ambulance to hear a proposal.
Snedecor and other officials say they are only investigating the possibility of privatizing ambulance services.
Snedecor said he plans to hire a consultant to look at ways to cut Fire Department costs.