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DCFEMS’ Third-Party Ambulances to Roll Out March 28

Saturday, March 26, 2016
Contractor begins transporting patients with minor injuries or illnesses

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Starting Monday, the DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (DCFEMS) will use ambulances from American Medical Response (AMR) to transport patients whose injuries or illnesses are not time sensitive or life threatening.“These additional resources from AMR are an important step to a broader plan by the Bowser Administration to help strengthen our emergency medical services,” said DCFEMS Chief Gregory Dean. “The goal is for our members to receive more training, better maintain our vehicles and preserve our resources for life threatening calls. These steps will help reinforce and improve our provision of patient care.”

AMR was contracted in February to perform supplemental pre-hospital medical care and transportation for basic life support calls. They will operate and maintain 29 private ambulances in the District using up to 25 of those units to respond throughout the city during high-call volume periods from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m., seven days a week.
DCFEMS will arrive first to all 911 calls for pre-hospital medical care. DCFEMS personnel will evaluate the patient to determine the level of medical care and resources required, including how the patient will be transported to the hospital. In February, DCFEMS transported more than 9,000 patients to area hospitals.
Patients experiencing minor injuries or illnesses, such as cold symptoms, ankle sprains, and general non acute sick calls, will be taken to the hospital for additional medical treatment by AMR. Patients who are experiencing life threatening or time sensitive injuries or illnesses will be taken to the hospital by DCFEMS.
Life threatening or time sensitive injuries or illnesses include, but are not limited to: cardiac or respiratory arrest, chest pain, heart attack, stroke, major trauma, unconsciousness, any shock state or altered mental status and other serious injuries or illnesses, depending on the circumstances, including patient presentation and medical history.
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