Citizens For A Better Norwood

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Need an ambulance? Live in Norwood.

Yesterday, Channel 12 filed a report (click on our headline above) entitled “City of Cincinnati Tries to Ease Ambulance Shortage.” Cincinnati City Hall is starting to address “a nagging, potentially-deadly problem - the strained ambulance system” because “hundreds of times a year, the system is so overwhelmed people in Cincinnati call 911 but have to wait for an ambulance.“ A city task that has studied the problem for a year has released its findings, which includes this statement: "We're going to make the changes necessary so if a citizen calls 911 and needs emergency medical attention to their home or office that an ambulance is going to get them there right away. We will never again accept the response: no ambulance is available which happens far too often in this city."

Also in the report are these stats: In the last 100 days of 2008, more than 180 people called 911 and were told no ambulance was available. After adding two ambulances, it still happened 55 times in the first four months of this year. Fortunately for the citizens of Cincinnati, “the city’s recommendation is to deal with the supplies and demands on the system.”

Our regular readers know from the monthly Norwood Fire Department Activities and Statistics Report we publish that the department’s response times to 911 calls are an impressive 3 minutes plus or minus seconds. But, we wondered, are people who call Norwood Dispatch for fire department service ever told no ambulance is available? We were able to talk to NFD’s Chief Goodman a few minutes ago to pose our question. He assured us that there is no occasion when our fire department doesn’t show up in response to 911 calls for service. There are instances when a fire truck equipped with medical equipment is dispatched if both ambulances are in service. If that’s case, the medics assess whether or not the emergency requires an ambulance be dispatched to the scene from a nearby fire department (usually St. Bernard or Golf Manor) that provides mutual aid for transport to hospitals.

And speaking of fire trucks, Chief Goodman asked us to let everyone know the NFD’s new $371,000 pumper is being delivered today. Maybe you can get a glimpse of it next time you’re driving by the station.