|Updated: 10/25/2013 8:11 pm
||Published: 10/25/2013 7:50 pm
When some people hear the words "delayed response times" it worries them that EMSA will be slower, but FOX23 spoke with officials of the Emergency Medical Services Authority and they told us that's not the case.
Paramedic Jason Whitlow knows there's been a lot of controversy over delaying EMSA response times from 8 minutes and 59 seconds to 10 minutes and 59 seconds. He tells us, "That doesn't mean it's going to take us 2 minutes longer to arrive."
Whitlow says even if it does take longer, firefighters will still be responding as they have in the past.
He explains he's not worried that anybody's safety is at risk; in fact, he thinks it will make it safer for EMSA employees and other drivers too.
EMSA reports an average of eight ambulance accidents a month. Whitlow tells FOX23, "That's something we have to worry about. It's important to keep the safety of our crews and the people all around."
EMSA Board Chair Clay Bird tells us what ultimately helped the board support the change is scientific evidence that proved the delay in times didn’t affect citizen’s livelihood. shows delaying EMSA's response by two minutes doesn't affect saving. In addition to the research done, the medical control board also recommended this change.
Bird says, "Based on recommendation and the cost savings, to me it's an absolute no-brainer."
The cost savings adds up to $50 million statewide for EMSA and because of that savings, EMSA says now it won't have to raise its rates as previously discussed.
Whitlow commented on the long-term effects: "Do we know how it's going to work? No, because we've never done it here but all the data reports show it's going to be a good, safe thing for people." EMSA agreed to re-evaluate how the plan is working in three months; it goes into effect in about a week, on Nov. 1.