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Why Colusa County only has one ambulance

Enloe Medical Center recently cut its ambulance service from two ambulances to one.

COLUSA, Calif. — For the past 21 years, Chico's Enloe Medical Center has provided at least two ambulances to Colusa County.

But on Nov. 16,  Enloe cut the number of ambulances it provides to one. 

This decision left many asking, "Why?"

Marty Marshall, director of Emergency Services and Flight Services at Enloe, said it comes down to the fact that there are not enough people in Colusa County to continue with two ambulances.

"There is not enough volume in that county," Marshall said. "This is the state of health care in rural America right now."

Marshall said Colusa County currently does not pay money for their service to the county as they did before 2010.

Marshall said the number of people paying the full amount for ambulance services was too low to support two vehicles.

"It's not too often that there are multiple calls at one time," Marshall said.

Maxwell Fire District Chief Kenny Cohen said the decision to reduce ambulances was a "long time coming."

"We have a population that supports one, but we live in an area where two is needed," Cohen said.

Knowing that Enloe is a business, the City of Colusa and Maxwell are working to help alleviate the issue caused by reducing the number of advanced life support vehicles.

The Colusa Fire Department decided to deploy a basic life support vehicle that would provide medical support for calls in the city limits.

Marshall said basic life support vehicles would suffice for many of the calls that 911 receives, such as people being sick, losing consciousness, sustaining non-serious injuries, and other non-life-threatening medical emergencies.

Maxwell Fire Department is working towards having a vehicle available to help their city similarly.

With these vehicles, Cohen said that it could help the Enloe vehicle be available for more severe emergencies and areas that are further away from the more urban areas of Colusa County.



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