LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) — Las Vegas Fire & Rescue has responded to accusations made on behalf of American Medical Response after Chief William McDonald's decision to eliminate the private ambulance company from the dual response model.
The report, prepare for AMR by local research firm Applied Analysis, claimed the city was cherry-picking wealthier areas to transport patients, and leaving lower-income neighborhoods to AMR.
The report showed a preference to the higher-income ZIP Code of 89134 with a higher collection rate for Fire & Rescue while dispatching AMR to the lower-income ZIP Code of 89110, which is less likely to pay the transport fee.
In a report signed by Las Vegas City Manager Elizabeth Fretwell and released Monday, half of the 89110 ZIP Code is unincorporated Clark County, which is under Clark County Fire's jurisdiction. They add no Las Vegas Fire & Rescue station is within the ZIP Code, although its nearest station is reportedly less than a mile from the 89110 border. Clark County Fire Station 16 is located near the ZIP Code's center.
Jeremy Aguero of Applied Analysis, who compiled the report, says his findings only involve Las Vegas Fire & Rescue incident numbers — Clark County was not included.
He adds even if he removes the area in question, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue responded 18 percent of the time, as opposed to 16.9 percent.
The department also disputes claims about increased response times, saying it has actually reduced since the March policy change.
AMR says this has never been about response times, but that by removing the private company from automatic dispatch, there is no way of knowing which unit is closer to the scene, which it claims is a concern to public safety.