Letter to the Editor

EMS service

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Does the Cape County Private Ambulance Service (CCPA) provide first-class service to a first-class county? What are the CCPA response times for areas that have no first responders nearby, such as the North County Fire District, Whitewater Fire District and Delta Fire District?

CCPA provides, on average, four ambulances during the day and three at night. But then there are the transfers to other hospitals as far away as St. Louis. So if they are running four ambulances during the day, for example, then we're down to three. And take into account that transfers happen at night. So we just went from three ambulances to two ambulances in the county.

They state a rural response time average of 13 minutes and 22 seconds. There is an EMS term called the "golden hour," meaning if a patient requires surgery or even advanced lifesaving techniques that EMS cannot provide, you have one hour to get that patient to a hospital. Studies have shown if the "golden hour" rule is applied, survival rates dramatically increase, then decrease. I, for one, would like to see that average time come down to around seven minutes. How? Place ambulance crews in the county, not just in Jackson or Cape Girardeau.

I applaud Commissioner Paul Koeper for looking into this issue. As a first class county, do we not deserve a first class EMS service?