ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY) — In St. Landry Parish, Jessie Bellard is working with ambulance providers and first responders across the parish to prioritize teamwork and reduce response times.

Jessie Bellard, St. Landry parish president, said, “It came to my attention that these ambulance services had not met as a group, since they were all in the same parish they never met. And coming from emergency services like me, I wanted to make sure we got on the same page and chat about what we could do better in our parish.”

Bellard met with Acadian Ambulance, MedExpress, and St. Landry EMS to discuss the value of communication between the companies to respond to calls as quickly as possible.

Bellard said the companies are motivated to work together in ensuring every call is tended to within 15 minutes or less, even if it means calling on other trucks to get to rural areas faster.

Bellard also hopes to receive additional help from the fire department.

“I’m going to be getting with the fire departments and asking them to respond on certain calls, there’s like 8 initial calls of life-saving measures that can be given by the immediate on set,” Bellard said. “It gives the people a chance to see an immediate responder on the scene, and that responder can do a lot while waiting on the ambulance to get there.”

Bellard said he is planning out an ordinance to propose to the parish council to ensure all ambulance services can work together efficiently and without other companies bidding in. This way the three companies can know who to contact in times of emergency.

“I’m going to be asking the council to pass an ordinance saying that the three ambulance services that we have in place now are the ones we’re going to keep,” Bellard said. “Then if one of them gets out then one of the other two ambulance services gets the opportunity to pick up the slack. Anything more than three I feel like is going to hurt us not help us.”

Moving forward, Bellard said he plans to propose the new ordinance to the parish council at their meeting in May.