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9 suburban Louisville fire districts cut medical runs over costs

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Nine of Jefferson County’s 18 suburban fire districts have stopped responding to all but the most critical medical emergencies, citing rising fuel costs and limited resources, a Courier-Journal analysis shows.

As a result, Louisville Metro EMS ambulances are handling more calls without backup in parts of Jefferson County — even though suburban firefighters usually can respond faster. Fire stations generally are located to reach patients within five minutes, compared with EMS’ goal of eight minutes.

“There are going to be cases, especially in cases of people living in the outlying areas, that will have to wait longer for response,” said Dr. Neal Richmond, director of Metro Emergency Medical Services.

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