The North County Fire Protection District has taken on a much heavier load of emergency calls following the closure of Fallbrook Hospital in 2015.
In response, NCFD added an extra ambulance to respond to medical emergencies, but it has put a financial strain on the fire stations.
As the NCFD puts it, they are bringing a hospital to the home of patients.
“We have the ability to bring medications, life-saving medications to them in their time of need,” NCFD spokesman John Choi said. The district serves approximately 55,000 people in Fallbrook, Bonsall and Rainbow.
When NCFD started operating its third ambulance, there was no extra money in the budget for it. Most of its budget comes from property taxes.
NCFD said it has seen a 17 percent increase in calls since Fallbrook Hospital shut its doors. That also means that ambulances are having to travel further to transport patients.