Using funds generated by Measure AA, the city of Wildomar unveiled a new paramedic squad that began responding to calls on Jan. 6.
The city estimated that the paramedic squad will cost a little more than $1 million per year.
“It is one of the visible pieces to the public from what Measure AA, which was passed in 2018, is contributing the city,” Mayor Dustin Nigg said in a phone interview. “I would say 80% of the calls that Cal Fire receives in the city are medical calls. By purchasing the medic truck and the squad to go with it, it goes a long way to decrease the response times for our residents.”
According to a press release issued by the city, the addition of the truck and unit will cut down on costs, “since the smaller squad vehicle can be dispatched to certain Emergency Medical Service (EMS) calls in lieu of the larger fire engine.”
“It’s a proud moment for our fire department and a huge service boost for the citizens of Wildomar,” Wildomar Battalion Chief John Crater said in the press release. “Thank you for supporting your fire department with the addition of this paramedic squad to better serve you.”
Fire and emergency medical services within Wildomar are contracted through Cal Fire Riverside County Fire Department, which has been the case since the city’s incorporation in 2008.
Measure AA, which became effective on April 1, 2019, established a 1% transaction tax on the gross receipts of any retailer from the sale of tangible property sold within the city limits.
Nigg said improving public safety in the city is one of the main objectives for funds raised with Measure AA.
“Public safety, roads, homelessness, all those things,” Nigg said. “Measure AA was passed on those pillars. I would say we’ve done a good job over the last 12 years partnering with Cal Fire to maintain a level of service for our citizens. But this is one of those things that in working in partnership with Cal Fire where we saw a need and a way that we can provide a better service.
“The service levels have been not bad, we just wanted to continue to improve where we can.”
The squad is located at Wildomar Fire Station 61 at 32637 Gruwell Street and consists of an engineer, a firefighter paramedic, and Advanced Life Support equipment.
The city also purchased a new medic squad vehicle that is still being assembled and will be delivered to the city by Spring 2020. In the interim, Wildomar is utilizing a vehicle supplied by the county.
The truck will cost the city $225,000.
Jeff Pack can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.