Improve EMS Response Times

The goal of this platform plank is to improve ambulance response times and provide better pre-hospital care for residents of Athens.

Our private, for profit ambulance provider routinely puts profit above public safety by abandoning emergency response zones and pulling 911 ambulances to run profitable, non-emergency transports.

2019 Goals

Priority 1.  All 911 EMS Emergency Responses will be handled exclusively through our state of the art 911 Athens-Clarke County Dispatch Center.

In an emergency situation, requiring a caller to tell his or her emergency twice is confusing, inefficient, and potentially dangerous.

Priority 2. All pertinent EMS response data will be available to all stakeholders, including a full accounting of the 31,055 delayed “911 Emergency Responses” that occurred during 2014-2017.

This accounting will reflect the nature of the call, the zone of origin of the caller, and the zone from which the ambulance responded. In order for all stakeholders (citizens, elected officials, public safety personnel, and others) to make good decisions regarding their public safety, accurate and reliable data must be accessible. 

Priority 3. All EMS Oversight Committee meetings will be open to the public.

Whether provided by a for-profit, private ambulance service or our local government, Emergency Medical Services are a matter of public safety for our citizens. Transparency is a critical component of any public safety service.

Priority 4. National EMS will stop abandoning state mandated 911 coverage zones in order to run non-emergency transports.

Pulling a 911 ambulance from its coverage zone to run a non-emergency transport creates situations where ambulances have to respond to medical and traumatic emergencies from further away. This business model negatively impacts response times.

Priority 5. The 911 ambulance service in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia will be a public service run through our fire department.

A) National EMS systematically and routinely abandons state mandated 911 coverage zones to make money (above and beyond their subsidy) running non-emergent transports. B) National EMS has a significant number of calls that exceed response time standards (31,055) and they refuse to allow access to the data to clarify the nature and severity of these calls. C) National EMS has a long history of withholding pertinent response data from its stakeholders and those who subsidize their service. D) National EMS continues to operate within a system of their design that encourages secrecy and denies transparency to the public and elected officials charged with the public’s safety.

For more information, check out this blog post on the topic from 2018.