Fire Department Report Shows Little Impact From EMSA Slowdown

Thursday, November 7th 2013, 6:46 pm
By: Emory Bryan

After a week of a new EMSA policy that slows down their response time, the Tulsa Fire Department reports no significant impact on their operations.

Tulsa Fire had added five trucks and extra paramedics to handle any increase in workload, but found within a few days they weren't needed.

Fire department medical coordinator Michael Baker said the change resulted in firefighters spending anywhere from one to 12 minutes longer on medical calls than usual, but that wasn't enough to merit increasing staff permanently. The one week of extra staff cost $37,000. EMSA has said it would reimburse the fire department for some of the costs.

Baker said the one week analysis came during a slow period; an average of 2,400 calls per month versus a summer high of 3,000 calls.

The fire department added the trucks at midnight November 1, removed two trucks on November 4, and removed the others from service Thursday morning, according to Baker.

10/31/2013 Related Story: Tulsa Fire Department Adding Staff To Fill Possible EMSA Response Gaps