Ambulance response times in Northland concern council members - KCTV5

Ambulance response times in Northland concern council members

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As expected, Kansas City Council members were told Wednesday that ambulance response times are the worst in the Northland.

Of 287 calls in the Northland in October, paramedics were on the scene in less than nine minutes on just 207 calls. This is 72 percent with crews not arriving until more than 12 minutes.

The goal is to have crews to calls in less than nine minutes 90 percent of the time.

"They face some real challenges north of the river," Councilman John Sharp, who is chairman of the council's public safety committee. "Since they changed dispatch protocol, response times have dropped. We've got to dispatch these calls quicker."

The council earlier this month discussed that change that has dispatchers asking more questions and getting answers before dispatching first responders. Previously, dispatchers began rolling first responders as soon as an address was confirmed.

Sharp said the Northland and other parts of the city need more fire stations.

"If you have a cardiac arrest, if we don't get there or do effective resuscitation, we've eliminated any chances of survival," he said.

Acting Fire Chief Paul Berardi said he is implementing a pilot program of putting paramedics on pumper trucks and a new post has been added to the Northland. Because of the number of calls at the city jail, an ambulance is being kept there at all times to save time and resources.

Some fire stations have ambulances, but they are unmanned. He said when an ambulance is unmanned, a manned ambulance is roaming nearby.

"This is a highly computerized dispatch system in which every single ambulance has an automatic locator on it," he said. "The computer identifies and sends the closet unit."

To read previous coverage, click here.

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