MILWAUKEE -- Starting Tuesday, April 5th, some Milwaukee firefighters will no longer respond to medical emergencies in a fire truck. Instead, they will be in an SUV.
The "alternate response vehicles" are part of a new pilot program for the city of Milwaukee. They are large SUVs equipped with EMS equipment used to respond to medical calls.
These vehicles will be used to respond strictly to medical calls -- not fire calls.
If there is a fire, and a crew is out in the ARV, another station would have to respond until that crew could join them in their engine.
"We will send out the 'alternate response vehicle' when and only when there is another fire truck that is stationed nearby in case there would be a fire emergency when this vehicle is out. We're looking forward to seeing if we can be more efficient," Milwaukee Fire Chief Mark Rohlfing said.
Chief Rohlfing, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Alderman Terry Witkowski said the program will be used to determine whether they can reduce wear and tear on their heavier trucks and be more fuel efficient.