Local Emergency Medical Services
I am in full support of measures that improve EMS response times. Improving response times for EMS is an issue that I have been tracking for quite some time now for several reasons.
The first is that one of the National EMS sites borders my neighborhood, so I consider it at least partially an Eastside, and District 8 business.
The second is that, while I have not had occasion to need an ambulance, the reported response times are alarming given that this city takes 20-25 minutes to get from end to end.
The third is that Commissioner Andy Herod was involved in the oversight committee, so my District recognizes we need to be taking a closer look at the issue.
My concern is that, if reports of National EMS abandoning 911 coverage zones and favoring more lucrative non-emergency transports are to be believed, running calls through our local call centers only provides a limited solution to improving the response times. While some time is saved by potentially not having to speak with multiple dispatchers, if we’re talking about 25-minute response times, this solution may only improve to 20 minutes, which is still unacceptable for our residents.