New ambulances help medics get to patients faster

Fire Chief Joe Zaludek met with Eugene city councilors Wednesday to give them an update on their Basic Life Support System they implemented in October 2016.

Posted: Feb. 21, 2018 7:10 PM
Updated: Feb. 21, 2018 7:26 PM

EUGENE, Ore. – Firefighters in Eugene and Springfield say they are getting patients to the hospital quicker than ever, thanks to their new ambulances.

Eugene Springfield Fire Chief Joe Zaludek met with Eugene city councilors Wednesday to give them an update on their Basic Life Support System they implemented in October 2016.

He said the department now has four basic life support ambulances which takes care of people with minor injuries, and four advanced life support ambulances for people with more severe problems like chest pain, strokes or cardiac arrest.

He estimates it costs more than $1 million to staff a 24-hour advanced ambulance. He said the ambulances were paid for with the Ambulance Transport Fund and help from the city.

Zaludek said the new ambulances have allowed his department to operate better than ever.

"Our crews are doing a great job out in the field,” Zaludek said. “Having the appropriate resources in the field, is helping us dramatically improve our ability to help protect the community and I really feel confident that the extra resources are serving the community well."

Zaludek said response times to critical calls have gone down by 14 percent and times on scene have gone down 17 percent. He credits these improvements with having ambulances at fire stations which are closer to the incidents instead of deploying out of the hospital.

Although they have made improvements, Zaludek said the department plans on meeting early next month with labor and medical transport experts in our region to learn more ways to continue to sustain and improve response times.

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