Callaway County Ambulance District is preparing for changes this week in preparation for the closing of the area’s only hospital. The Fulton Medical Center is scheduled to close on Friday, Sept. 22.
In order to ensure the safety of Callaway County residents, ambulance shifts have doubled from twelve hours to 24, according to Fulton Mayor LeRoy Benton.
“Right now, if you’re taken to the Fulton Medical Center it’s a 20 minute trip one way so maybe 45 minutes to an hour for an ambulance. Once that facility closes, then it will require upwards of two hours once they run the additional 20 to 30 miles to get to the facility in either Jefferson City or Columbia,” Benton said.
Residents of the area gathered on Thursday at the Court Street United Methodist Church to express their concerns about the changes. First Presbyterian Fulton Pastor Aaron White was one member of the community in attendance.
“Ultimately, if we move from having a hospital that is 10 minutes away for somebody to having a hospital that’s 40 minutes away, there’s probably not any way we can deny that there is an increase in risk,” White said.
There will be a final meeting for residents to express their worries on Thursday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. at the Court Street United Methodist Church.