CHILLICOTHE -- For 47 years Chillicothe has relied on it's own emergency services, but that's all about to change.
Today, citizens showed their support at an annual breakfast benefit for Rescue 33 and this year's benefit couldn't have come at a better time.
Starting at midnight, the people of Chillicothe will no longer be able to rely on Rescue 33.
President Ron Hedden said the suspension of the city's ambulance service is a blow to the community. "It's a quite a bit... it's a pretty big blow... but there is support."
Citizens are out today to donate their money and sign a petition asking for help, and for anything that can save Rescue 33.
Resident Donna Sarver said she's upset about the suspension. "I feel threatened. I feel like part of our community, that's been here for 40 years, they're not just ambulance people, they're community people around us everyday and they do their best to serve us."
Hedden said Rescue 33 operated purely with volunteers, but that's no longer going to cut it. According to the Peoria EMS System, Rescue 33 isn't up to today's standards.
Hedden said, "What we've been doing for $100,000 a year is probably going to be about $300,000 to $400,000 a year, so we have to have a plan that figures that into our budget."
He said that plan may include hiring EMTs, and at a minimum, having two stationed at the garage 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
But paying EMTs could mean on thing Hedden is trying hard to avoid. "It could mean for the first time in 47 years charging for our service. We don't want to but if that's the standard they think we have to go by that's what we'll go by."
Regardless of the changes, he said it will make his team better. "It's a bad thing that we got suspended but a good thing. When it's over, we will have a better ambulance."
Hedden said the process could take up to a year and a half. In the meantime, he said Chillicothe will have to use services based of out Peoria.
It's the 11th annual breakfast benefit for Rescue 33. Hedden said last year it raised $18,000 and this year, he hopes to surpass that number.