Orange County ambulance response times improve

From staff reportsOctober 11, 2013 

— The Orange County Emergency Services Department has trimmed a minute off its average ambulance response time, county officials announced last week.

The average EMS response time improved from 10:46 during 2011, to 9:45 through the second quarter of 2013.

The county 911 Communications Center also improved its average dispatch time from 2:42 during 2011, to 1:25 through the second quarter of 2013.

Officials attribute the improved times to several factors.

The EMS response times have been improved by adding additional ambulances, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians, co-locating ambulances in partnership with local fire departments to get them closer to their response districts, and the use of Automatic Vehicle Location devices to help identify and dispatch the closest ambulance to the call.

The 911 Communications Center has continued to increase telecommunicator staff on each shift to handle the call volume. In addition, Quality Audit & Improvement and Training staff positions have been added. To complement the new staff positions, several process improvements have been implemented within the 911 Communications Center to enable quicker dispatches.

“With the direction and support of the Orange County Board of County Commissioners, who approved our budget request for resources and equipment, Emergency Services has been able to focus on implementing organizational changes that provide enhanced customer service in a much faster timeframe,” said Jim Groves, director of Orange County Emergency Services.

“I anticipate that the 911 dispatch and EMS response times will continue to improve as we implement new training and response initiatives, while maturing as a young organization,” Groves added.

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