Las Vegas ambulance company changes 911 call protocols in light of staffing shortages
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A major ambulance company in the Las Vegas Valley is making changes to 911 call protocols to adapt to a shortage of paramedics, reserving the highest-trained first responders for the most serious calls.
American Medical Response and Medic West, which operate under Mercy Inc., will reserve paramedics for the most serious medical calls and dispatch Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians for other calls. The changes come under the supervision and approval of county officials and the Clark County Fire Department, which acknowledged the ongoing severe shortage of paramedics in Southern Nevada.
Last year, the county mandated territory changes and imposed fines after the services had delays with some ambulance response times. Ambulances must respond within 11 minutes and 59 seconds, 90% of the time. Slow 911 response times prompt change in ambulance coverage in Clark County (fox5vegas.com)
Damon Schilling with AMR told FOX5, recent changes are the result of a collaborative effort after AMR informed county officials that they still have trouble filling open positions, and the number of paramedics in the field has remained stagnant.
“Currently there are just 1,400 certified paramedics within the Southern Nevada Health District to serve a population of 2.3 million residents and more than 32 million annual visitors. That equates to one certified paramedic for every 23,000 residents and visitors. AMR Las Vegas and MedicWest are taking aggressive steps to find the necessary local solutions to combat the impacts of staffing shortages,” Damon Schilling of AMR said in an email to FOX5. “AMR and MedicWest are actively pursuing meaningful investments that will increase qualified applicants and strengthen the EMS system in Clark County,” he said.
Schilling said paramedics can respond to medical emergencies such as cardiac-related calls and chest pains; AEMTs can respond to less-acute calls, and can still transport patients to a hospital.
The new protocol starts July 27 and will be reviewed every 30 days.
AMR has an Earn While You Learn program for aspiring paramedics and AEMTs. For more information, click here: AMR Careers (gmr.net)
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