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Pistoresi Ambulance is standing by if needed

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune Pistoresi Ambulance office manager Cathy Rodriguez has been with the company since 1984, beginning when she was a senior at Madera High School.


Most business owners and their employees go to great lengths to get customers to use their goods and services.

In a perfect world, no one would ever need the services provided by Pistoresi Ambulance. But alas the world is far from perfect and owners Monte and Ted Pistoresi and staff often jave far too many customers.

Officer manager Cathy Rodriguez has worked for the company since 1984. She was a senior at Madera High School and began learning about the business part-time through a work-study program.

In addition to supervising the office staff and billing, she schedules the more than 50 part- and full-time employees.

“We employ about 25 paramedics and 25 emergency medical technicians,” said Rodriguez. These individuals are licensed through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians and must be recertified every two years, she said. The recertification process includes certain mandatory education classes.

Becoming an EMT takes about a semester of study, said Rodriguez. Paramedics need advanced training. For a paramedic, the process to certification takes about two years.

According to the NREMT website, candidates for EMT certification must display a wide variety of skills as they are typically the first link in the chain of medical services available.

The offices of Pistoresi Ambulance are at 113 N. R St. in Madera and are open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. But that doesn’t mean that Rodriguez’s day ends at 5 pm.

“We are staffed 24/7/365,” said Rodriguez.

She continues to be the person that is called if someone calls in sick or can’t work their shift for some other reason.

“When a person calls 911, the call is answered by the Fresno Communication Center,” she said. “If a person should call the office after hours, that call is forwarded to the dispatch center.”

In addition to Pistoresi Ambulance, the center dispatches Sierra, American and South Valley ambulances, too. The closest unit responds for a medical emergency. Pistoresi answered approximately 1,200 calls a year.

“An ambulance driven by an EMT with a paramedic on board responds to the address requesting service,” said Rodriguez. “The dispatch center categorizes each request and depending on the nature of the call, law enforcement and/or a firetruck might also respond,” she said.

In the cities of Madera and Chowchilla, a police car also responds. In the county, a sheriff’s deputy will be sent as necessary.

During the football season, there is an ambulance standing by during games at the four high schools — Madera, Madera South, Liberty and Chowchilla high schools. Earlier this month there were ambulances on site at the Madera District Fair and at the Old Timers Day Parade.

Pistoresi Ambulance also stands by at the LoanMart Madera Speedway during auto races. Cathy has been married to her husband Daniel Rodriguez for 29 years and they have three adult children. He has worked at Madera Irrigation District for 30 years.

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