Lexington Ambulance Staffing Debated

May 9, 2012

There will be no cuts in city personnel who staff Lexington’s ambulances.  Urban County Council member Doug Martin proposed a reduction in the number of emergency care responders in each ambulance from three to two.  Then, Martin says the city could increase the number of ambulances. 

“Do we put three to a buggy and have fewer buggies or could we put two to a buggy and have more and I would support the more buggies because it is going to reduce our response time…it’s gonna mean more times that we’re having ambulance with paramedics show up as opposed to a fire truck,” said Martin.

Martin suggested the issue undergo further study in committee.  More than one council member said, in a medical emergency, two people are needed for patient care.  In a vote Tuesday, the staffing shift was rejected by the council.  Among the opponents was council member Diane Lawless.

“If you have someone who is back of the buggy…who is having trouble controlling the person…or they have severe injuries…and need more than one person working on them..it is very dangerous because the person driving obviously can’t intubate somebody,” said Lawless.

A recent report on Lexington’s fire department shows a sizeable increase in emergency runs in recent years.  The report says the city needs two more ambulances and additional crews.