Deadly Crash Highlights Why EMSA Changed Its Response Times
TULSA, Oklahoma - EMSA is again stressing safety after a fatal ambulance crash in Louisville, Kentucky on Monday.
EMSA officials say that crash highlights why they've taken the steps in Tulsa to change their procedures when responding to emergency calls.
In the Kentucky crash, the driver of a car was killed when it turned in front of an ambulance with its lights and siren to a "man down" call. The medics were injured in the crash.
"We want to send our thought and prayers up that way. That's a pretty tragic thing for them to have to deal with and I think it's a good example as to why we made the decision to follow the nation-wide trend of kind of slowing down on non-emergency incidents," said EMSA Operations Manager, Jason Whitlow.
EMSA says after looking at research they extended their response times by two minutes in November 2013. EMSA also no longer runs with lights and sirens to non-life-threatening calls.
"I can tell you that there has not been any negative impact of us slowing down on some of these calls, so without having the numbers in front of me, I can tell you it has not had a negative impact on patient care," said Jason Whitlow, EMSA Operations Manager.
Before EMSA changed its response times, on average its ambulances were involved in about seven crashes per month, , but since they have changed the response times, that average has dropped to four-and-a-half.
EMSA said it had four wrecks last month, but they were much less severe given the slower speeds.