CITY OF LINCOLN NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
- April 6, 2001
- For More Information Contact:
- Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Don Herz, Finance Director, 441-7412
Fire and Rescue Releases Preliminary Report on Performance of Ambulance Service
A preliminary report on the Lincoln Fire and Rescue Departmentís ambulance service
for the first quarter of this year shows that the number of ambulance calls was higher
than expected, and the average response time to life threatening emergency calls was
about two-and-a-half minutes less than required. The Department assumed all ambulance
service for Lincoln and Lancaster County on January 1, 2001.
"I am very pleased with our performance during the first three months of ambulance
service," said Chief Mike Spadt. "Having only six weeks to get our emergency and
non-emergency service up and running was a challenge, but we met it and are now
meeting the needs of city and county residents for ambulance service."
Spadt said the Department projected that it would respond to 8,800 emergency ambulance
calls a year, or about 24 per day. So far, the Department has responded to an average
of 38.7 emergency and 7.5 non-emergency calls per day.
The city requires a response time of eight minutes or less to 90 percent of the emergency
calls, with a goal of responding within six minutes. Spadt said the average response time
for all life threatening calls was 5 minutes and 34 seconds, and he said nearly all of the
responses that took more than eight minutes were for calls outside the city limits.
"I am very pleased with the Departmentís performance during the transition, which is the
most difficult part of the process," said Mayor Don Wesely. "The initial report shows it
has been a success. I have every confidence we will continue to provide quality patient
care to the citizens of Lincoln and Lancaster County."
Because ambulances could not be ordered until a November 2000 public vote on ambulance
service, the Department has been using rental ambulances. Its new ambulances are
expected to start arriving in mid-April.
Finance Director Don Herz said the ambulance service is generating about $500,000 per
month in revenues. Expenses are estimated about $333,000 a month, excluding bad debt
expenses. "If the Department did not have to rent ambulances to begin service, the
margin between revenue and expense would have been even greater," said Herz.