Possible New State Rule Could Change EMS Operations

By: Vanessa Araiza Email
By: Vanessa Araiza Email

On average, responders with Ashford Volunteer Rescue Squad are en route to a call within 3 to 5 minutes.

But if a new state rule comes into play their routine could change.

"They're all good squads but it's actually going to hurt a lot of you know the smaller squads that people you know, most people work during the day and a lot of these squads only have people to respond at night," said Don Parrish, Vice President of the Ashford Volunteer Rescue Squad.

Alabama Department of Public Health Director Dennis Blair says because of instances in the past with slow response times the state is trying to enforce new rules.

If implemented, EMS personnel will have two minutes from the original call from dispatch to respond.

They will only have 4 minutes to get their tires rolling and en route to the emergency.

(Responders in the town of Columbia say while it's ideal to operate with the shortest response time possible it makes it difficult when you're only operating with a volunteer response team and covering a ten to fifteen mile radius.

"We're dealing with emergency situations and the public deserves to know that there is somebody en route to help them in situations where they can't, where they call for help," said Denise Louthain, Executive Director of the Southeast Alabama EMS.

Louthain says volunteer rescue squads are the backbone of many communities and the sooner help can get to an emergency the better the results for the patient.

As of right now, the ADPH is taking questions and comments regarding the possibility of the new regulations.

A meeting will be held in Montgomery on November 30th to discuss the plan.

If it passes, the response time change could go into effect as soon as the beginning of the year

If you would like to voice your opinion on the matter, you can e-mail your concerns or ideas to ADPH.

For a link to their website and contact information click on the "4 more info" tab.

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