LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Clark County commissioners voiced concern over delays in some ambulance response times across the valley and brought to light the issues surrounding a shortage of paramedics workers nationwide. 

Commissioners in a meeting Tuesday also gave a stern rebuke to one contractor over failure to meet some response times for the most urgent 911 calls.

The delays put an extra burden on Clark County firefighters.

Deputy Chief Jen Wyatt told the commission their paramedics have transported around 410 calls this year, compared to the typical 250. "In the 20 years I've been with the department, I've never seen it like this," he said. 

Clark County officials provided a list of zones and response time quotas for a year in a presentation.

Contractors are required to transport "Priority 1" calls, or the most distressing 911 calls, in a response time of 11 minutes and 59 seconds. Their success rate must be 90% in meeting this timeframe monthly, according to Clark County officials.

Officials praised Clark County contractor Community Ambulance for a 93% to 96% response time for a whole year. 

"We have an obligation to get to our patients in a timely manner," said Glen Simpson with Community Ambulance.

The county voiced concerns in particular with AMR Medic West, which for three months recently, saw 85% to 89% success rates in transport times across all zones.

"We are in a very unique staffing crunch. We feel that we are very close ... we are expanding our recruitment from across the country," an AMR representative told the commission.

AMR officials said they are down 40 staff members. 

AMR Ambulance

AMR Ambulance

Staff members are considering whether to transfer some zone areas from AMR to Community Ambulance, if that arrangement is workable and effective. 

"[EMTs] are doing 12 hour days at minimum, at times they are putting in more," said Damon Schilling with AMR. "There has never been a question if an ambulance has responded."

Schilling said there are interns in the "Earn While You Learn" program, helping people become EMTs while being paid to go to school.


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