Ambulance response time could take off precious minutes to save a life, says reader

Eight minutes too long

Dear Editor:

I am writing to address a concern I have in regards to the local EMS response time upon calling 911.

On Sept. 15 at 11:59 a.m I was one of the first people on the scene of a multi-vehicle accident at the intersection of Hwy 12 and Hwy 56. I placed the 911 phone call at that time.

When my call was answered I stated my location and emergency, after which I was asked to provide what town I was in. After I provided such I was patched through to another operator who I had to provide all the same information to again.

The ambulance was the first emergency vehicle on scene. Bystanders had to assist in extracting an unconscious victim and place him on a stretcher. In addition, we assisted in loading him in the ambulance while at such time the fire department arrived, followed by RCMP.

In all, it took eight minutes and 56 seconds from the first contact with 911 until the ambulance arrived on the scene. It took approximately two more minutes for fire and RCMP. All the while we were less than a block from the ambulance bay.

I have taken first aid and we were taught 911 is the fastest response to any emergency. I question whether or not lengthy of often unnecessary procedures get in the way of response times being as fast as possible.

I personally know several emergency responders and know they strive for fast responses because lives depend on them. So why is it that in this day and age the instant that an emergency call is placed with a smartphone equipped with GPS all the prudent information isn’t instantaneously given to the people that need it?

I feel as though there may be some improvements possible to the systems we already have in place that could take minutes off how long it takes for life-saving services to get to where they need to be.

Dennis Thomas,

Stettler

Editor’s note: According to Linda Borg, Manager, Stettler District Ambulance Association, they are contracted by Alberta Health Services and operate as a core flex scheduling system. This means that Stettler ambulance crews respond from their homes while on duty while having to meet an eight-minute chute time. Borg said that this means when their crews are dispatched they have eight minutes to leave their homes, drive to the ambulance station and start responding to a call.

Just Posted

Settler has fun-filled day planned for Canada Day

Fireworks, entertainment at West Settler Park

Changes coming to this year’s Big Valley Jamboree

Camrose’s popular country music festival ‘enhances guest experience’

Scenic trail ride raises funds for STARS air ambulance

Battle River Ride for STARS hopes to reach this year’s goal

Stettler gears up for annual Communities in Bloom challenge

As the 2011 National Champs, the Town now competes in the international category

Officials declare July 12th as ‘Collector Car Appreciation Day’

Collector Car Appreciation Day was launched back in 2010

VIDEO: Top NHL draft prospects Hughes and Kakko know they’ll always be linked

The two are on course to be selected No. 1 and No. 2 at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena on Friday

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Fighter Jets light up Bucs’ to take AFL first place

38-3 loss puts Central Alberta into second place in the AFL

PHOTOS: Scamp the Tramp wins World’s Ugliest Dog Contest

‘He’s Scamp the Champ, no longer Scamp the Tramp,’ his Californian owner said.

Deals on paid time off for domestic violence ‘beginning of a wave,’ says expert

Philippines was the first country to pay for domestic-violence leave, starting in 2004

Calgary Flames select forward Jakob Pelletier with the No. 26 pick

The 18-year-old winger from Quebec City had spoken with the club earlier in the day and knew they were interested

Central Alberta RCMP constable found not guilty of sexual assault

Justice Grant Dunlop acquitted Const. Jason Tress following a week-long trial in Red Deer Court

Inuit sue feds over experiments that included skin grafts

Plaintiffs allege they were also prodded with sharp instruments to assess their reaction to pain

Most Read