FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Local paramedics and EMTs receive more trauma calls in June and July than any other time of the year. Where they’re stationed when they get a call could mean the difference between life and death.
If you drive around, you can see ambulances parked in store and restaurant parking lots. However, what you don’t see, is the meticulous placement that’s the result of a detailed plan of action.
“The historical demand is showing us where the most likely place for a call, any type of call to happen at, and it is based on hour of day, day of week and time of day and that updates every five minutes, said Melissa Freehling, Communications Manager of Three Rivers Ambulance Authority.
Based on those results for the last 20 weeks, that’s where TRAA ambulances, about 13 of them, are stationed.
“They’ll try to find the best spot that has a bathroom, food available, hot coffee and at least four ways to get to a major street, in case they get a call,” said Jared Crotty, Director of Clinical Services of TRAA.
Back in the control center, computer monitors displaying a purple area on a city map demonstrates where the activity is.
“People get off work and they go back to their primary residences, that doesn’t mean that people stop calling 911. It means that the location that they call 911 from has changed,” said Crotty.
Ambulances have to follow suit because paramedics and EMTs need to be in route within 30 seconds of a call coming in. They have eight and a half minutes to get there.
“Going in there to go to the restroom, grab a cup of coffee, suddenly becomes a very big deal. To you, this is a five minute inconvenience on the way home. To my crews, that’s everything,” said Crotty.
40 percent of TRAA’s patients are 65 and older.
However, the type of calls change depending on the time of the year.
Last July, paramedics and EMTs responded to 120 more trauma calls than in January.
“We still have to have enough units to be able to respond to those other sentinel events that were talking about, the traffic accidents, or the shootings, the violent crimes, the assaults, that sort of thing, We have to be able to be responsive to the community.”
A paramedic will work a 12 hour shift, averaging about one patient per hour.