New Ewa Beach ambulances blessed in ceremony

Published On: Jul 09 2012 11:22:00 AM HST
EWA BEACH, Hawaii -

The city blessed two new ambulances Monday that will serve the Ewa Beach area.

The ceremony was held at the Ewa Villages Golf Course.  Mayor Peter Carlisle made the announcement Monday.

"Protecting public health and safety are among our top concerns, and basing an ambulance in Ewa Beach will allow paramedics to respond more rapidly to emergencies in the area," Carlisle said.

The ambulance will be housed in existing city-owned space at the Ewa Villages Golf Course main building.

Extra ambulance units were made available to service Ewa Beach and surrounding communities immediately after the hospital closures took effect.

The city had already planned to station a unit in Ewa Beach within a few years to better serve the area’s growing population, and the closures brought a new sense of urgency and additional funding from the Legislature.

Rep. Kymberly Pine, who served on the House health committee after the closure of the Hawaii Medical Center in Ewa, said the new ambulance unit will ensure that residents will have they crisis medical attention they need.

Immediately after the closure of HMC hospitals, members of the House and Senate health committees passed bills to address the closure including allocating $1 million for an additional Ewa Beach and Nanakuli ambulance services.

The committee also allocated $2 million to Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center and $1.25 million to Wahiawa General Hospital to expand and upgrade emergency departments.  The legislature also allocated funds to turn HMC East into a long-term care facility and immediately allocated emergency funds to save the organ transplant program.

"Our top priority now is to provide Queen's Medical Center and the sisters of St. Francis all the tools necessary to reopen the hospital on the West Coast as soon as possible," Rep. Pine said.

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