PORT ANGELES — Clallam Fire District No. 2 is reporting faster response times after the purchase of new ambulances.
Chief Sam Phillips told the fire district’s commissioners last Tuesday that the two new advanced life support (ALS) ambulances have made getting patients to the hospital quicker than ever and that he believes this has improved patient outcomes.
The district now has three advanced life support ambulances, after the second new ambulance was delivered Feb. 28.
The ALS ambulances take care of people with severe problems such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, stroke and cardiac arrest.
Phillips said that transport times have dropped 14.8 percent and time spent on scene has gone down 9.4 percent.
Phillips said he credits the improvements to having modern ambulances at fire stations, which are closer to the incidents. Previously the one ambulance was deployed from a centralized location.
“In a medical emergency, if the brain goes without oxygen for up to six minutes, ‘brain death’ begins to occur and it is irreversible,” Phillips said in a news release. “Therefore, the sooner we can arrive, triage, treat and transport a patient the better the chances for a positive outcome.”
Phillips said it cost more than $350,000 a year to staff one 24-hour ALS ambulance and that the latest ambulance purchased cost $166,814.
“Our paramedics and EMTs are doing a great job out in the field,” Phillips said. “Having the appropriate resources in the field is helping us dramatically improve our ability to help protect and serve the community and I really feel confident that the new units are serving the community well.”
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected] dailynews.com.