Ambulance Shortage in D.C.
A distressed baby died in early September due to a shortage of ambulances in the Washington D.C. area. The closest ambulance was miles away in neighboring Maryland – raising questions about whether the baby would have survived if there had been a quicker response time. The Washington Post reports on this incident in the September 4th article, “Authorities to investigate emergency response in death of boy in Southeast D.C.”
According to fire department spokesman Mark Brady, this incident was the “58th time since Aug. 1 that the District requested help because it had run out of ambulances.” Even more shocking, data shows that EMS calls in the D.C. area have been increasing, while response time has been lagging. In fact, the percentage of first paramedics arriving within 8 minutes of dispatch to the scene has fallen from 90% in Aug. ’14 to 82% in Aug. ’15.
Mayor Bowser’s Response
Mayor Bowser is now suggesting the use of private ambulances to improve 911 response time. The Washington Post writes about this proposal in a September 28th article that discusses benefits of this plan. Essentially, private ambulance companies would transport patients with “less serious” emergencies, leaving the city ambulances free to respond to other emergencies.
We Can Help!
When the 911 system fails there needs to be a back-up system in place in order for ambulances to reach scenes quickly, providing those in need with care in the most critical minutes after an incident occurs. Whether this back-up system involves more ambulances is unclear. But, it is clear that by using RapidSOS Haven platform users will help 911 dispatchers locate emergencies quickly, ultimately freeing up ambulances for other emergencies. You can now get the app here.