Starting January 1st the Omaha Fire Department will no longer provide free stand-by ambulance service at area high school football games and other community events. Fire Chief Bernie Kanger says they provided the service at Omaha Public Schools, Millard, District 66 and Elkhorn and several Class A and B parochial schools at varsity events for many years. That service was extended to junior varsity sports, league sporting events, festivals, tournaments and community events.
Chief Kanger says, “We are getting asked provide services beyond high school football stand-by. We are doing social events; we’re doing the sporting events, 5K runs, polar plunges. Quite honestly it is not fair and not consistent to say yes to certain groups and no to others.”
School districts and community groups can contract with private ambulance companies or pay the Omaha Fire Department for the cost of overtime hours. The new policy excludes events that attract exceptionally large crowds that could present a public safety concern.