OLIVE BRANCH, MS (abc24.com) - New equipment and more manpower. The city of Olive Branch is beefing up public safety, adding more firefighters and bringing a new ambulance to town.
"We've been typically running two ambulances," says Mayor Sam Rikard. "When we'd need a third one we'd call in other agencies." The bigger the town gets, the harder that has been.
"Over years calls just increased and increased," Rikard tells abc24.com. Two ambulances are no longer enough. He's included a new one in the town's budget that starts in October, and thinks adding it will speed up call times.
"So that we don't start seeing slower response times. We don't want that. If you call the ambulance, we want to get there in four or five minutes if we can."
The city doesn't have to buy a new ambulance. It owns several older ones that aren't being used. They'll refurbish one of them to make it like new.
The city is also looking to hire six firefighters. Rikard says that costs just under $300,000. "It will give us the ability to maintain that high level of service we think we've provided for years."
Job interviews should start this fall. The ambulance is expected to be in service by next year.