Ambulance service questioned about slow response rates - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Ambulance service questioned about slow response rates

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

First Response Ambulance Service officials went before a committee to seek a rate increase, but found themselves answering questions Thursday about slow response times during the second and third quarters.

Decatur’s Emergency Medical Services committee tabled First Response’s request for new and increased rates, so the ambulance provider will have to wait another month because members want more information. A $100 fee to a patient who refuses to be transported is part of a series of proposed rate increases and new itemized charges in the proposal.

The committee wanted to focus on response times.

The minimum required response time in the city is eight minutes, and 12 minutes in the police jurisdiction, on the most serious and life-threatening calls. The ambulance service must meet the response time on at least 90 percent of its calls.

Decatur Fire and Rescue Chief Tony Grande asked David Childers, First Response director of operations, to explain why response times had dropped significantly, especially in the city’s police jurisdiction.

First Response was at 89 percent in the second quarter and 87 percent in the third quarter. The numbers were back up to 91 percent in the fourth quarter. Overall, the ambulance service dropped 1 percentage point, to 90 percent, from 2015 to 2016.

Read more at Decatur Daily

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