Going to a single ambulance provider long overdue

Published 11:38 pm Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Consolidating county ambulance services into a single agreement with a single provider is long overdue.

Many years ago, former Adams County Supervisor David Huber was attributed as saying that volunteer firefighters are great, but when it’s your house, your wife, your children at risk, you want a professional, equipped with the best money can buy.

Huber’s past wisdom strikes us as particularly pertinent this week as the current slate of county supervisors consider ratcheting up the quality of the county’s emergency medical response.

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Currently, ambulance calls are rotated between two private companies, regardless of which company has an ambulance nearby or which may be tied up dealing with another emergency.

That system works great, until it doesn’t.

On several occasions, one ambulance company gets the call, but cannot quickly handle the call because they’re tied up on another call. The original call then gets passed to the other ambulance provider.

All the while, grandma is hurting, little Johnnie is motionless on the football field or sister Sarah is trapped inside a wrecked car.

This is a serious problem and fortunately, to our knowledge, all of the long-delayed response times have not resulted in a patient’s death. But it’s just a matter of time.

Supervisors must set aside outside influences and focus on what is best for the county.

Developing an emergency response contract with a single provider that has outlined quick response times makes the most sense and could save the most lives.