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F-M Ambulance has new West Fargo presence

From left to right, paramedics Josh Weber, Lindsey Hiatt and EMT Callie Katers stand inside the new F-M Ambulance location in West Fargo. Carrie Snyder / Forum Communications Co.1 / 2
The new F-M Ambulance station is located at 1111 Queens Way in West Fargo. Carrie Snyder / Forum Communications Co.2 / 2

West Fargo is home to a new F-M Ambulance location at 1111 Queen's Way, off of 19th Avenue South.

A special open house is being planned for today (Wednesday, Nov. 2) for neighbors, the general public, or anyone else interested in viewing the facility.

A ribbon cutting conducted by the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce will take place at 10:30 a.m., followed by the open house from 4:30 to 7 p.m. which will provide the opportunity to tour the approximate 3,000 square foot building and enjoy refreshments.

The facility is comprised of mostly garage space used to house on duty ambulances for the West Fargo area. Also situated in the building is some of the larger disaster equipment, including an ambulance bus that can transport up to 22 people on stretchers; an equipment truck for carrying supplies to a mass casualty, i.e. airport incident, tornado, or flood related issues that could involve evacuating hospitals and nursing homes; as well as a couple of trailers housing equipment needed to respond to incidents where there are multiple patients.

F-M Ambulance Executive Director Dean Lampe said this location replaces a station that was located at Main Avenue and 45th Street, in West Fargo. "With this new building we are now in an area that allows us to serve more of the community as it has grown to the south and the west. That was the primary purpose of placing the ambulance building there."

"Our response time goal is seven minutes and 59 seconds from the time of dispatch. With all the new growth in these areas, this move to this location will allow us to have acceptable response times when individuals call 911."

There are six F-M Ambulance locations in the metro community with a total of 14 ambulances and 100 employees: the one in West Fargo, three in Fargo, and two in Moorhead.

Lampe said a dynamic deployment system is utilized by the service where six ambulances are available to ensure that all the stations are covered at all times. "Let's say we get a call in West Fargo. That ambulance leaves and by the time the crew responds, treats and transports to a hospital, it's going to be at least 45 minutes before they get back. During this time, one of the five remaining ambulances would be sent over to cover West Fargo while the ambulance is gone.

"This system is employed every time an ambulance goes out whether it's West Fargo, Fargo or Moorhead, making sure that that everything is covered at all times," Lampe emphasized. "If six ambulance calls come in from West Fargo, there would be six ambulances there. That is the beauty of the system. There are no lines. We cover the entire metro area as one."

And if it gets super busy Lampe noted that extra crews are also paged in to assist.

Needless to say, everyone at F-M Ambulance is pleased and happy with the new West Fargo location, which has been in the works for three years. "With the new building finally complete and operational, we are all pretty excited about it," Lampe added.

Lampe noted that F-M Ambulance has been serving the area for over five decades now. "We are all very proud to have served the area for 52 years as a community ambulance."

F-M Ambulance is a subsidiary of Sanford Health.

Anyone wishing more information can direct their inquiries to Kristi Engelstad at 701-364-1759.