Dear Editor, "If you're waiting for an ambulance in Langley, you'll be waiting longer than for a fire truck [Average ambulance wait higher than 13 minutes in Langley, July 30, Langley Advance]."
What isn't mentioned in the article is the fact that, while firefighters, having no medical duties beyond first response, are free to respond to a medical call immediately, the paramedics who actually do the definitive treatments and who transport the patients are usually still tied up in an overloaded hospital emergency department, and are waiting for their last patient to be admitted when a new call comes in.
This relegates the new call to whichever ambulance crew actually is available, regardless how far that crew has to travel, often from another community.
Firefighters always respond right in their own neighbourhood.
The current overload conditions under which ambulance crews and hospitals operate works to skew response time statistics terribly from those of the firefighting service, which operates under no such overload condition.
It's no surprise which service looks prompt and caring and which looks to the uninformed like they are simply slow to respond.
Mike Stuart, via email
@ Copyright 2013