City Council Committee to Hold Hearing on AMR Performance
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – City Councilors Bud Williams and Tom Ashe say that the council’s Public Safety Committee will meet next week to discuss AMR’s performance in the city.
“Media reports and citizen calls regarding the performance of AMR demands review by the City Council. The safety of the public is measured in many dimensions including the response time of the city’s ambulance service provider,” Councilor Williams says in a statement.
The city’s contract with AMR was renewed in 2010 for a three year term, and the city is now beginning the process of accepting proposals for the next contract.
In a joint statement, Ashe and Williams adds, “Ambulance services provides a critical safety net to our citizens. It is important that the response time be reviewed and evaluated by the Council and a report be made available to the public.”
The city’s current contract mandates that AMR respond to life-threatening calls within ten minutes, 95 percent of the time – a standard that the company meets.
Last month, an ABC40 Investigation found that several hundred calls involving life-threatening situations took over ten minutes for a response, ranging from 11 to 43 minutes.
In a report to the city, AMR noted that over 170 of those cases were due to a delay with the nearest ambulance being too far from the call. Thirty-five other instances listed the reason as “undertermined.”
In February, Councilor Williams noted, “We’re not here to point fingers at anyone. We’re just trying to make services better for the citizens because at the end of the day, this is about life and death.”
ABC40 reached out to AMR several times for our story, offering them an opportunity to talk about the delays on-camera, as well as requesting a ride-along to see what paramedics deal with on the roads.
AMR eventually only offered a statement pointing out those longer-than-10-minute responses are the exceptions saying, “We responded to more than 30,000 calls last year. The average response time for priority one calls was 6:48 (6 minutes and 48 seconds). We respond to each call promptly and safely.”
The meeting will be held Tuesday, March 26 at 3:30 p.m. at the City Council office.