Ambulance Response Improving

Officials credit cooperative backup system for 'significant' gains in reducing deadly delays, and novel funding at no added taxpayer cost


 
 

Jennifer Maloney | | Thursday, October 9, 2008


ISLIP, N.Y. -- Ambulance response times are dropping in Islip because of a new backup system jointly staffed by the town's five ambulance districts, county and local emergency services, officials said yesterday.

Officials said the Tactical Ambulance Program, launched in January, has answered more than 500 calls with a median response time of 8 minutes. "It is a significant improvement," said Bob Delagi, acting director of Suffolk's Emergency Medical Services division. "We have had isolated cases [in Suffolk County] of ambulances responding to the scene in 18, 20, 40 minutes. The problem is acute all over the county."

A growing number of 911 calls and a dearth of volunteer emergency medical technicians available on weekdays had contributed to the response-time problem, officials said.

Town and county officials yesterday said they could not provide the average response times townwide before and after the program began.

Under the new system, a backup ambulance, staffed jointly by Islip's five ambulance districts, roams the town Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., responding to emergencies when the nearest district's ambulances are occupied on other 911 calls.

A Tactical Ambulance Program unit responds to a scene if the nearest district can't get an ambulance on the way within 4 minutes of a call, said Jamie Atkinson, president of the Islip Ambulance Chiefs Association.

In the past, if a district couldn't muster an ambulance team in 9 minutes, the call was passed on to another district, which had 9 more minutes to act before the call was passed on to a third district.

That process sometimes led to dangerous delays, Atkinson said.

This is not the first joint effort among Long Island ambulance districts to reduce response times, Delagi said. But the Islip plan is unique in how it's funded, he said.

The Town of Islip paid the five districts $5.5 million last year to provide ambulance services. To fund the new program, the districts are now bidding together to purchase supplies - such as gauze, EKG machines, and blankets - at a lower price. They're using the savings to pay for the program, so it comes at no additional cost to taxpayers, Atkinson said.




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

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

Mechanical CPR is Producing Resuscitation Results Beyond Expectations

Discover why clinical studies are finding mechanical CPR just as effective as optimally-performed CPR.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

New Technology Helps Missouri Ambulances

Strategic GPS tracking helps in Springfield.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Profile: Hospital Wing Air Ambulance

Take a look inside this Memphis service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Monitors for Wyoming EMS

Grant helps Torrington EMS get new equipment.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

London Medics Increasingly Attacked

One medic describes her violent confrontation.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Violence, Arson in Ferguson

Crowds in Ferguson and elsewhere react to decision.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

California Bus Rollover

One killed and dozens injured.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Buffalo Residents Dig Out and Prepare for Flooding

Flooding expected as heavy snow melts.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

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


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >