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Grand Chute Fire sets sights on an in-house ambulance service

Posted at 6:25 PM, Feb 09, 2024

GRAND CHUTE (NBC 26) — Fire Chief Steve Denzien is looking for support for a public ambulance service, emphasizing enhanced care and quicker response times.

  • Grand Chute Fire Chief Steve Denzien seeks Town board support for establishing a public ambulance service.
  • Denzien says the idea aims to enhance medical care and response times for community benefit.
  • The town board vote on February 22nd will determine the future of the service, involving the purchase of ambulances and hiring additional paramedic firefighters.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

A public ambulance service may be coming to Grand Chute but the fire chief needs the support of the town board first. I'm your Appleton neighborhood reporter, Olivia Acree, with what these plans would mean for our neighborhood.

Grand Chute Fire Chief Steve Denzien wants the community to get the premium level of care from his department. This year. GCFD is graduating their first class of paramedics. He says the next step -- getting their own ambulances.

“When we did our strategic plan, we identified some of those needs, and we're trying to meet those needs for the public,” said Denzien.

Denzien says with a public ambulance service comes consistency and accountability.

“Not only is the town board responsible and has the authority to control that, but also the residents have a say in it,” said Denzien.

Ambulances currently come from Gold Cross. Town Chairperson Jason Van Eperen says the need for change comes down to response times.

“Since our guys are already on scene and if all the equipment to there that is needed,” said Van Eperen.

Van Eperen says they’ll be better equipped to get out and provide the medical care that our neighbors may need without raising their taxes.

“We have the funds within the town that would be able to support this plus when it finally gets up and going, it should be able to support itself,” said Van Eperen.

Denzien says the upfront costs would be the ambulances at about $350,000 each.

The next step is the town board vote set for February 22nd. If passed, GCFD is looking to purchase three ambulances and hire six more paramedic firefighters to get the service up and running at the start of 2025. If it doesn’t pass Denzien says he won’t give up.

“We'll continue the fight will continue to keep going. But, you know, we'll also continue our partnership with Gold Cross. There's no ill feelings towards any of that. We're just trying to provide the highest level of service for our community,” said Denzien.