New Cedar Falls Ambulance Building Reducing Response Times - @

New Cedar Falls Ambulance Building Reducing Response Times


Jon Ericson | | Sunday, October 28, 2007

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa-- Minutes can seem like hours when waiting for an ambulance.

With a new emergency services building in southern Cedar Falls, Iowa, it takes fewer of those precious minutes to reach many of those in need.

Dave Wedeking, a Sartori Memorial Hospital paramedic, said the new building on South Main Street Road can make all the difference when it comes to victims of heart attacks, motor vehicle accidents or industrial accidents.

They are things that those first few minutes are really crucial, Wedeking said.

Josh Galloway, another paramedic, said being on duty at the new location already made a difference when a woman was seriously injured in an accident at South Main and Orchard Drive, a location that took him a minute to get to, but would have taken five to six minutes from the other ambulance location at Sartori.

Angela Buskohl, ambulance services manager for Sartori, said the new building has greatly improved response times for calls to locations south of University Avenue since it opened in June.

Prior to opening the new facility, Sartori had response times of seven to nine minutes. Those time have been reduced by three to four minutes.

Fire rescue crews have noticed the difference. Before the new building opened, fire crews were first on the scene 60 to 65 percent of the time. Since opening, that has been reduced to 40 to 45 percent.

What that indicated to us is the advanced life support paramedic care is getting to the scene 20 percent quicker now overall, said Fire Chief Steve Mitchell.

Not only are the response times faster, but they have gotten faster in an area of the city with a heavy demand for ambulance services.

Retirement communities and nursing homes in the south end of the town include the Western Home communities, the Lutheran Home and Mallard Point. In addition, the south end of town has the industrial park, Wal-Mart and College Square Mall.

We knew from our statistics before we went out to the building that about 41 percent of responses were to that area, Buskohl said.

Currently the building houses a two-person ambulance crew 24 hours a day. A second crew continues to operate out of Sartori. The Pinnacle Prairie building was opened without adding staff, as Sartori had operated with two crews out of the hospital but now just splits the two crews between the buildings.

The emergency services building was constructed with the idea that a fire engine crew would operate there as well. Office space also would be made available for police to stop in and do paperwork. Officers currently stop in nearly every day to file reports or conduct interviews.

The fire department has yet to make use of the building.

The long-range plan was always to have a fire presence out there, but there are funding and staffing issues for that, Mitchell said.

Mitchell said that perhaps fire staff could use the building sometime between 2010 to 2012, but that depends on City Council goals and growth in the area.

The community growth has to pay for the expansion of our services, Mitchell said.

Contact Jon Ericson at (319) 291-1461 or

Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Industry News, Operations and Protcols

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox


Fire EMS Blogs

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts


EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Over Half of Seattle Fire Stations Test Positive for MRSA

Surprisingly high results come from test kits based on earlier study.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

AMR Crew Rescues Mississippi Driver from Fiery Crash

Rescue during crash in Jackson is caught on video.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Tempe’s Drug Dilemma

Dealing with overdoses.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

I’m a Paramedic

Profile of a Northshore LIJ medic.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Nightwatch Series Premiere Party

JEMS Editor-in-Chief A.J. Heightman attends the series premiere of A&E's new reality show, "Nightwatch."
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Ottawa Chemical Investigation

Chemicals and suspicious package are probed at two locations
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Cincinnati Overpass Collapse

Fatal pancake collapse occurs during demolition.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >

Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >

More Product Videos >