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To the Editor:

One side of my property faces SE Broad Street so I have a (front row seat) to the actions of our first responders in that particular part of the city. 

Watching (the recent) city council meeting I pretty well understood why the council members could not answer questions about the debate on replacing (or not) the current service jointly provided by the county ambulance service and the city fire and rescue troops. 

I attended the workshop when the proposal to have an independent service for the city was discussed at length. Over and over the reason given was “to improve response time” for ambulance service. The only way that can happen is to have ambulances stationed around the city and responding to calls in a certain zone, like the fire department first responders do. 

Typically, a fire and rescue vehicle from the Mercury Boulevard Station will go by my house first and sometimes followed a minute or two later by a county ambulance. I think the ambulance may be called to treat and or transport, that being something the fire and rescue personnel can’t do. An ambulance crew can draw blood to be used to determine if drugs or alcohol is involved in whatever the emergency is. 

Logically the benchmark number for current response time has to come from a fire and rescue database because typically they have the best response time due to their strategic location. So, it seems reasonable to assume that the bids for service are for service from a current location which would be the fire stations. 

That being said, I can understand why the phones and e-mails of the council members are picking up.

Richard Baines


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