VENICE (WWSB) - While the Venice Fire Department and Sarasota County share the duties of fighting fires in Venice, the city is now confident that they want to take back their ambulance services and do it all under their department.
For two decades now, the City of Venice Fire Department and Sarasota County have shared responsibilities for that area. However, now, Venice City Council is looking at having its fire department handle all of the city’s emergency calls.
A few months ago, a survey found that Venice can respond much more quickly when it's a matter of life and death. Fire Chief Shawn Carvey presented research to council members showing 66 percent of the time an emergency medical service call is placed, the Venice Fire Department arrives before Sarasota County ambulances. Venice Fire arriving in about four minutes on average, and double that for the County.
Fire officials say the money the city now pays to the county could be used to hire another 25 first responders and add three ambulances. At yesterday's city council meeting, it was officially decided that they will allow Venice Fire to work out the change with the County.
Venice Fire officials say to improve the quality of service on the island, they need to take over the EMS service from Sarasota County.