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Fire & Rescue says response time claim untrue

Reported by: Vicki Gonzalez
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Updated: 4/30/2014 2:27 pm

LAS VEGAS (KSNV -- On Monday, News 3 reported the troubling numbers from private ambulance company, American Medical Response, accusing Las Vegas Fire & Rescue of jeopardizing the public's safety.

AMR's units were scaled back after the city Fire Department's decision to stop the dual-response system in a move the private company claims has led to huge jumps in dispatch delays.

Las Vegas Fire & Rescue says that is not true.

AMR says a critical point to this policy change is that they are now in the dark when it comes to 911 calls.

After the March 3 change they now have to rely solely on the city to guide them to medical emergencies.

American Medical Response and Las Vegas Fire & Rescue each have their own dispatch system. In the time of dual response, both systems were linked and notified of 911 calls.

AMR General Manager Scott White says after March 3, they were cut off.

“What we now have is a system where a person sitting in the dispatch has to manually push a button to send the call to AMR,” White said.

The head of the private company believes the April 17 fatal stabbing off Sahara Avenue is a grim consequence of this change.

“I know we had an ambulance 200 yards away from a victim that we were not sent the call to, and my fear is how many others are there that we don't know about,” White said.

White says Las Vegas Fire & Rescue's decision to cut the line may have been a show a force after he took a bold stance after discovering on day one of the change. AMR ambulances were being canceled even though they were closer to the scene.

“I gave my people the direction to ignore the council and we sent ambulances to 911 victims on March 3 that we knew we were closer,” White said.

There were a total of 88 times that day.

"On Tuesday, March 4 the chief severed the automatic link,” White said.

White says that's when the city of Las Vegas went from 18 delayed emergency calls in the 30 days prior to the change, to 169 the 30 days following March 3.

“I am seeing the numbers get larger and larger and at that point our company decided to make a formal information request to the city-- to see the data, to see the number of trips they were doing and if our ambulances were closer,” White said. “To date we have not received any information on our public information request.”



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