‘Great improvement’: Chester County making moves to provide ambulances faster

It’s something that neighbors have complained about for years, but now a new plan will bring ambulances much closer to thousands of people in the western part of Chester County.

“Some parts of our county from here are 37 to 40 minutes, running lights and sirens to get there,” Chester County Administrator Brian Hester told Channel 9′s Tina Terry on Wednesday.

“When you’re having a heart attack or some other safety incident, minutes count.”

Hester says he’s made it a priority to move ambulances closer to people living in communities like Lockhart, Woods Ferry, and Leeds.

ALSO READ: School district, sheriff in Chester County discuss safety after recent events

County councilman Pete Wilson says he’s taken complaints about the problem for a while.

“Just that we need to do better, that we need to look for solutions, things that will reduce that response time,” Wilson told Terry.

Starting next week, officials will move an ambulance to a substation in north Chester, giving emergency workers faster access to the west side. The long-term goal is to expand both fire and emergency medical services at the West Chester Fire Department, turning it into a three-bay fire station with bedrooms and living quarters that would operate around the clock.

Volunteer firefighter Capt. Tommy Martin lives in western Chester County, and he says the efforts will be worth it.

“The EMS will be a great improvement out here when it gets here,” Martin told Terry.

The renovations could cost up to a million dollars. Hester says the county is working with state lawmakers to help find the money for the community.

“They deserve the same service as someone here in the city of Chester,” Hester said.

(WATCH > ‘It wasn’t justice’: Husband disappointed by sentence in Chester County killing)