By LESLIE COLLINS
December 25, 2013
The Kansas City Fire Department (KCFD) made gains across the board in ambulance response times for the month of November.
Gains in meeting response time goals ranged from a 1/2 percent to 6 percent improvement from October in the four ambulance response districts (ARDs), said KCFD Deputy Chief Donna Maize.
City ordinance requires that ambulances respond to life threatening emergencies in 9 minutes or less 85 percent of the time in each ambulance district and in 9 minutes or less citywide 90 percent of the time.
During the month of November, KCFD responded to life threatening emergencies in 9 minutes or less 74.5 percent of the time in ARD 1 (Northland); 89.8 percent of the time in ARD 2 (Central); 83.9 percent in ARD 3 (East side); and 76.7 percent in ARD 4 (South side). Citywide, KCFD responded to life threatening emergencies in 9 minutes or less 82.3 percent of the time. That’s up by 3.5 percent from October, said Maize.
For the three-month average, ARD 1 met the goal 71.9 percent of the time; ARD 2, 87.4 percent; ARD 3, 80.1 percent; ARD 4, 72.2 percent. Citywide, the three-month average was 79.2 percent.
KCFD recently added three additional ALS (Advanced Life Support) pumpers to its system, bringing the total to five ALS pumpers. ALS pumpers have the same equipment as ambulances; the only difference is that ALS pumpers cannot transport a patient. ALS pumpers are staffed with four people, including one paramedic.
“Once an ambulance leaves to transport (a patient), that pumper goes back in service, leaving that ALS coverage in the area,” said KCFD Deputy Chief Tom Collins.
Areas chosen for ALS pumpers were based on coverage need and ALS pumper locations are: Station 3 (11101 N. Oak); Station 38 (8100 N. Oak); Station 41 (9300 Hillcrest); Station 42 (6006 E. Red Bridge); and Station 44 (7511 N.W. Barry Rd.).
KCFD also had a shortage of paramedics, but has since filled those positions. Newly hired paramedics will hit the streets at the beginning of January.