Ambulance provider response times continue to improve

Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 7:01 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Leaders with Three Rivers Ambulance Authority say they are seeing significant improvements to their response times and county assists.

For at least two years now, the ambulance provider has experienced a shortage of paramedics. At the city’s public safety recap Tuesday, Fort Wayne Fire Department Chief Eric Lahey discussed the department’s involvement in the problem. Lahey also serves on the TRAA board of directors.

Lahey says their fire trucks always respond to priority 1 emergency calls, and because of the paramedic shortage they usually arrive on scene first. FWFD paramedics provide medical care until a TRAA ambulance can arrive. He says those response times have significantly improved.

21Investigates took a closer look at the data to verify if those times have in fact improved.

An ambulance is required to arrive at an emergency in less than eight minutes. To be considered compliant, that time should be met 90% of the time. So far in January, TRAA ambulances have been compliant 87.3% of the time, compared to a 65% last year.

TRAA leaders have made quite a few changes hoping to alleviate the problem, including getting help from other ambulance providers and fire departments. The number of times the county has had to help TRAA has improved significantly as well.

The latest data show in January 2022 there were 303 county assists compared to so far this year only 21 assists.

Lahey says tackling the problem has been difficult but FWFD and TRAA will always be committed to saving lives.