DC officials: New ambulance system improving response times

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said response times have been cut down by a minute and a half


By FireRescue1 Staff

WASHINGTON — D.C. officials said the use of public and private ambulances to handle the city’s calls has helped improve response times. 

D.C. Fire and EMS Chief Gregory Dean said having private ambulance respond to calls has allowed city ambulances to respond to more urgent calls. He also said as many as 72 percent of ambulance runs are non-emergencies. 

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said response times have been cut down by a minute and a half. 

Under the current system, ambulances respond to a call and decide whether a patient needs to be transported to the hospital immediately, reported WJLA. If not, crews wait for a private ambulance to arrive and transport the patient.

“Some of these [calls] require a fire truck and ambulances with red lights and sirens, some of them require somebody to pick you up and take you to urgent care or a doctor’s office,” Chief Dean said. 

Officials said they are also considering changing 911 call services. Depending on a caller’s emergency, they may be redirected to talk to a nurse, who may instruct them to take a taxi to a medical center, instead of an ambulance.

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