HIGH SPRINGS – The City of High Springs may get a rescue vehicle from the county following recommendations by the Fire Services Review Board. The board calls for the addition of a unit in High Springs and one in Alachua. If the recommendations are implemented, Unit 20, which is currently located near the dump between Alachua and High Springs will move to Alachua and Rescue 29 will be located in High Springs.

High Springs Fire Chief Bruce Gillingham confirmed that the county contacted him asking if he could house a rescue vehicle and two county employees at the newly renovated High Springs Fire Station. However, no further word or action has taken place since he indicated he could do so.

At the June 13 joint meeting of the High Springs City Commission and Alachua County Board of County Commissioners to be held in High Springs, Gillingham would like clarification of the county’s plans as the construction on the addition to his facility is drawing to a close. “An update would help me plan the use of the space better,” he said recently.

The plan also calls for four new rescue vehicles to go online in Alachua County. Recommended locations are Alachua, Newberry and Micanopy. Another was recommended for Gainesville's Station D, located at SW 24th Ave. and 100th St.

“The location of a rescue vehicle in the city would be welcomed,” said Gillingham. “The national average of medical-related emergency calls is about 80 percent of the total calls per year. We are running pretty close to that in High Springs.”

With call numbers for the High Springs station at approximately 1,250 last year, 80 percent would equal 1,000 calls that included medical emergencies. “About 750 of those calls were from citizens located in our city,” he explained.

Gillingham said also that backup units for High Springs are presently coming from Jonesville and Gainesville, near the Highway Patrol Station on U.S. Highway 441. “It takes a bit longer for backup units to get to us from those locations. Having a unit in the city would drastically reduce response time.”

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