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Wyandot EMS receives long awaited new facility

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UPPER SANDUSKY, OH (WNWO) - It’s like a game of Tetris every time the Wyandot County EMS has to put their ambulance in the bay, and they have no room for training. But thanks to a new building, they hope to become more efficient than ever.

They still have 2 to 3 weeks of construction left, but the department says they can already see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“It’s getting very excited and the patience is wearing out, so we’re ready to go,” laughed Dale Risley, Wyandot County EMS Coordinator.

The Wyandot County EMS has been making do with their current facilities since long before Risley took over as Coordinator. But the building had some serious limitations.

They don’t have any areas for training. It’s located on a busy street in downtown Upper Sandusky, so it can delay emergency vehicles. Overnight staff has to sleep in the shared common area. And there is not enough room for all of the department’s vehicles and water craft.

“Currently they’re under four different roofs," said Risley. "So we have to go various places, depending on what we’re looking for, for equipment.”

And the vehicles that are kept at the station all share one bay door. This means they are constantly rearranging vehicles to get one out.

Bill Clinger, Wyandot County Commissioner, said, “this new building is going to provide us a more central location, access to roads, quicker response times. And we like the idea that we’re re-purposing an old building that sat empty for a couple of years.”

The new location has been a variety of businesses; from grocery store, to work out facility, to car dealership. But most recently it was vacant. Many people were excited to see it be spruced up and occupied. And a lot of work has gone into it to help it fit the department’s needs.

Clinger said, “we’ve been in the planning process for a couple years. Dale had come to us with the idea that he had the funds available and it would be a good idea to move the facility to a better location.”

The project has so far cost around $1.4 million. It’s come from a mix of fundraisers, public donations, and bonds that will be repaid with the EMS’s levy. Plus, the department has saved money by buying local and doing a lot of the work themselves. They add they could have done this without the support of the community.

“It’s amazing how wonderful they are to us. It really is. It speaks a lot about how they feel about us and the need for us to be here," said Risley.

The new facility will have a kitchen, offices, bathrooms with showers, a training room that can be used as an emergency community shelter. And, perhaps most importantly of all, a separate bay door for each emergency vehicle.

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