If a train is stopped in Seymour and a person needs medical assistance, they may have to wait for the train to pass.
But soon, they will at least be able to wait with medical personnel.
The conversion of the former Indiana State Police garage into an ambulance station on the east side of the Louisville and Indiana Railroad line in Seymour is underway and currently ahead of schedule, said Dennis Brasher, executive director of Jackson County Emergency Medical Services.
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According to a Jackson County EMS study in 2013, 63 percent of the runs made by the emergency service were conducted on the east side of the rail line.
No further studies have been conducted since 2013.
Recently, there has been an increase in train traffic created by the more than $90 million upgrade to the 106.5-mile rail line that passes north and south through Seymour.
This upgrade increases the two or three trains per day to more than 15, all of which are longer and travel faster.
The increase in train traffic has caused some concern for emergency personnel trying to get from the station on the west side of the tracks to emergencies on the east side, prompting the renovation of the former state police post garage into an ambulance station.
The renovation includes an expansion of the garage from its current 3,418 square feet to hold three ambulances and provide staff space to work on them.
One of the bays will be used to house a full-time ambulance crew, while a second will be used by personnel on duty during the daytime Monday through Friday, and the other will serve as a backup bay.
The move of services will still allow for one full-time ambulance, a second daytime ambulance and a paramedic supervisor available on the west side of the railroad line.
“Right now, I think we are a little ahead of schedule,” Brasher said. “It’s possible we could be finished as early as Feb. 21.”
Brasher said there could still be the possibility of delays for ambulances while taking an individual from the east side of the tracks to Schneck Medical Center, the service’s primary medical treatment facility.
But individuals needing medical treatment would have to wait with medical personnel, instead of for medical personnel.
Brasher also said there had been talk of the railroad companies setting up a form of communication notifying EMS when a train was on its way through town.
“I haven’t heard anything else about it since then,” he said.
The interior of the garage, constructed in 1991, will have to be completely remodeled from a living quarters into a garage.
Debbie Ridlen Mann, vice president of finance and chief financial officer for Schneck Medical Center, said there are no current plans for the former state police station located next to the garage on East Tipton Street.
But she said Schneck is taking steps to preserve and maintain the building for future use, including replacing the roof, resealing the windows and weatherproofing the exterior.
Schneck recently acquired two other buildings. One is a former Holiday Inn on the east side of town, where Schneck has plans to construct a wellness clinic. The other is a primary health care practice in Brownstown, now known as Schneck Primary Care.