CHICAGO – “Frequent fliers” are putting a drain on the city’s EMS resources, according to a new report.
The so-called “frequent fliers” – patients who repeatedly request 911 service calls even when it’s not medically necessary – are taking away valuable time and resources from true emergencies, CBS 2 Chicago reports.
In one case, one woman called 911 408 times during an 18 month period from Jan. 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019, according to the report. An ambulance was dispatched 204 times; a firetruck with a paramedic on board another was sent 133 times.
“That’s wrong,” said Chicago Paramedic Field Chief Patrick Fitzmaurice, a critic of the city’s ambulance shortage and those who misuse it.
“But a bigger problem is we have done nothing about it,” Fitzmaurice added. “We did nothing. We stood by and watched.”
CBS 2 also reports the city failed to collect hundreds of millions of dollars in ambulance service fees over the last two years. That money that could have been used to pay for additional ambulances and paramedics.