Gilbert to use two-person vehicles for some medical calls

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Artist's rendition of Gilbert's new response vehicle. (Source: Gilbert Fire & Rescue) Artist's rendition of Gilbert's new response vehicle. (Source: Gilbert Fire & Rescue)
GILBERT, AZ (AP) -

Gilbert's fire and rescue department is seeing whether sending a smaller vehicle instead of a firetruck to handle some medical calls works for the Phoenix suburb.

Gilbert Fire and Rescue says it's starting a pilot program to send a two-person rescue vehicle with a paramedic and emergency medical technician instead of a four-person firetruck to handle less-critical medical calls.

Chief Jim Jobusch says the yearlong pilot program beginning Monday is an effort to maintain response standards in the growing city, which has a population of about 250,000.

Jobusch says all calls are important and get high-quality service but that not all require a four-person crew.

Chandler began using so-called "low-acuity response units" in 2015 to respond to lower-urgency medical calls.

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