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EMS enhancements paying off for Essex County

by Kyle Reid

Despite increasing call volumes, Essex-Windsor EMS is meeting or exceeding response time targets for most service calls, according to a report Essex-Windsor EMS Chief Bruce Krauter tabled during last Wednesday evening’s County Council meeting.

  The report outlined response time target numbers, alongside the expected times and the percent the unit met its targets. The report also listed the percentages from previous years, dating back to 2014.

  The biggest improvement from the 2017 year was in the response times for sudden cardiac arrest calls. For the 2018 year-to-date, Essex-Windsor EMS is meeting the six-minute target time at a rate of 64 percent. That number is up five percent from last year, and well exceeding the target of 55 percent.

  Krauter pointed to an enhancement plan created by County Council last year as the reason behind the improvement.

  Response time targets for life-threatening resuscitation calls also notably improved from the previous year. In the 2018 year-to-date, Essex-Windsor EMS has met the eight-minute target time for these calls 81 percent of the time. That number exceeds the benchmark target of 75 percent and is up six percent from last year’s performance.

“This result is a notable improvement from [the] prior year, despite the continued rise in call volume,” Krauter said.

  However, responses for emergent and urgent calls fell short of meeting its respective 10 and 12 minute response time targets 90 percent of the time. Essex-Windsor EMS met the response time for emergent calls 85 percent of the time, and 86 percent of the time for urgent calls.

  Krauter said that while he was disappointed that the unit fell short of its targeted goal, the numbers were consistent with previous years. The Essex-Windsor EMS Chief noted that ambulance off-load delays at all emergency departments are hampering ambulance availability. He recommended a diversion protocol for emergent calls to allow ambulances to be offloaded in a timelier fashion.

  For less urgent and non-urgent calls in 2018, Essex-Windsor EMS has met its 14-minute target response time 95 and 90 percent of the time, respectively.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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