HELENA — St. Peter’s Health recently opened a new ambulance hub off of North Montana Ave. This will allow quicker response times for those in the valley.
Around six years ago David Webster, Ambulance Director of St. Peter’s Health, realized the need for an ambulance satellite station in the northern part of the Helena Valley. He found it necessary to establish such a hub north of busy roads like Custer Ave. for faster response times in the area.
After setting up satellite stations on a trial basis at West and East Valley Volunteer Fire Departments, the decreased response times spoke for themselves, and St. Peter’s realized it was time to set up something a bit more permanent for the north valley. The new ambulance hub not only allows for decreased response times but also decreases the potential for wake-effect collisions, which are the collisions that occur as people move off to the side of the road for emergency vehicles.
The new station has the capacity to house a crew along with an ambulance, an additional ambulance, and 2 backup emergency vehicles.
There is also a kitchen and workspace to accommodate paramedics on 12-hour shifts.
Webster says there are multiple benefits to having this new north station, “Essentially, we get, you know, decrease time to get to the patient's, you know, bedside, so to speak. We reduce wake effect collisions and then we reduce travel time back and forth. And so, by housing the ambulance here, you know, it also addresses fatigue and mileage on the trucks.”
Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported the new ambulance station can house two ambulance crews when it is intended to house only one.