MISSION, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Mission Fire Department will launch its first fire-based emergency medical services ambulance Wednesday.

The aim of this initiative is to help the Mission Fire Department better serve the community in critical situations.

Fire services have become the first-line medical responders for critical illnesses and injuries in almost every community in the United States, according to a news release.

Therefore, fire departments often find themselves in positions to offer pre-hospital care.

Mission’s first ambulance will be blessed and officially “pushed” into service 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Central Fire Station, located at 415 W. Tom Landry Street.

Among its current staff, Mission Fire Department has 28 certified personnel — three paramedics, two advanced emergency medical technicians and 23 emergency medical technicians.

“Our goal is to be proactive and to provide faster response times for Mission residents,” said Randy Perez, Mission City Manager. “Our firefighters are strategically and geographically well-positioned to deliver time-critical response and effective patient care rapidly.”

The fire-based service will be secondary to the city’s primary provider, Med-Care EMS.