NorthStar put studded tires on ambulances for snow traction

NorthStar EMS has put studded tires on its ambulances “to try to get us to places that are going to be harder to get to” this week during the snowstorms, according to Director of Operations Tonia Hale, who is also a Searcy City Council member.

“There has been a couple places that were kind of sketchy to get in and out of,” Hale said.

Hale said the biggest problem has been dealing with some of the side roads out in the county. “You have to stop because a car is coming out of a driveway or passing someone. When you stop, it is hard to get going again.”

The call volume for the ambulance service has been pretty high, she said.

“It’s a variety of calls. We have had several falls and then you have your medicals,” Hale said. “It’s the sick time of year when people have respiratory and pneumonia and bronchitis and things like that. Our call volume has been up; Tuesday, I believe we did 60 calls.”

When it comes to getting employees into work, Hale said some of them have shuttled in together and that helped.

“Harding University has helped us out,” she said. “We have put a couple of employees up over at the Heritage [the campus hotel]; some of them that live out of the county. Some of our employees live outside White County, so they stayed at the Heritage.”

Hale said those who are placing calls for an ambulance need to remember that the ambulances are having to travel “on this mess,” too.

“It may take us just a little bit longer to get there,” she said. “We can’t travel fast in these conditions.”

She said NorthStar has responded to “several accidents.” However, there have been no fatalities reported in the county this week.

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