RIDGELAND, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
Ridgeland's Fire chief is the latest one concerned about response times of AMR ambulances. Will Ridgeland be the next city to switch private ambulance services? A committee will study the matter.
Chief Matt Bailey says it is time to establish a emergency medical system that would allow more control over ambulance service in the city. Currently Ridgeland is served by AMR.
"Our concerns are our response times," said Chief Bailey. "We are on the scenes for over 20 minutes quite regularly."
With over 2600 911 calls last year alone, and over half of them emergency medical calls requiring an ambulance, the Chief says response time is absolutely critical in that golden hour.
"We are looking at reducing those response times so we can get the patient to a hospital sooner because that's their best option, to be in a hospital care unit," added Chief Bailey.
Brandon, and Pearl have gone to Pafford Ambulance Service and Ridgeland is open to options. We posed this question to the Chief,
"I'm not saying we have not talked to Pafford. Yes we have talked to Pafford, but we have talked to other ambulance services too," said the chief.
In a statement to Three On Your Side, AMR warned that contracting for a smaller number of ambulances, dedicated to a given city, can be risky:
For 25 years, our paramedics, EMTs and support staff have provided central Mississippi with prompt, high-quality emergency service. Our response times have, with rare exception, met or surpassed the requirements in our contracts. With AMR, any location in the metro area has immediate access to as many as 55 ambulances.
Contracting for a small number of ambulances dedicated to a given city can be risky. We know exactly how many times each year that four, five, six or more ambulances were needed at the same time in any jurisdiction.
Further, our resources. We encourage officials to examine closely the quality of patient care we provide vs. any competitor, measured against national registries. Our survival rate for heart attack patients who have no pulse when we arrive is far above national averages.
National organizations recently recognized our operation for high quality care. We are also nationally accredited; one of only about 175 ambulance services in the Western Hemisphere to earn that distinction.