Struthers city council voted unanimously Wednesday to buy its own ambulance and staff it with volunteers.
Safety service director Bob Benson tells 21 News it's meant to be used intermittently and as a last resort.

The city already uses MedStar ambulance service, and also calls Lane and AMR during an emergency to see if they're available. Now and then they call on Poland or Lowellville for emergency transport too.
The ambulance Struthers bought is used and will cost the city about $50,000 once all the necessary medical equipment is brought in.

Benson says it's a product of an EMT shortage not just in our area, but across the country.
He says taking this step will not replace the current ambulance service with MedStar, only add to it at a critical time.

"We cannot support the city of Struthers with one ambulance," Benson said. "Just yesterday (Tuesday) we had three medical calls at one time. So we were able to get a couple ambulances on scene, but in those situations which don't happen a lot, you need outside ambulance support."

Benson tells 21 News with council passing this measure, the city's ambulance will go into service Thursday.