Following complaints, DeKalb County to increase ambulance services in Dunwoody, StonecrestDeKalb County Georgia. Source: Google Maps.
DeKalb County has pledged to increase ambulance services in Dunwoody and Stonecrest following complaints about slow response times.
According to Reporter Newspapers, “The agreement follows the Dunwoody City Council’s calls for action following an [American Medical Response] employee allegedly striking a Dunwoody teen in an ambulance and ongoing complaints about slow response times to the city.”
The county said in a press release that effective May 29, ambulances will be placed in two DeKalb County fire stations: Dunwoody and Stonecrest.
DeKalb County said it has penalized AMR with $1.5 million in fines for failing to meet its obligations under the current contract. The county says it is drafting a new request for proposals in order to re-bid the ambulance services contract.
Here is the full announcement from DeKalb County:
DeKalb County Reaches Agreement with American Medical Response
AMR to address poor performance issues immediately
DECATUR, Ga. – Effective Tuesday, May 29, American Medical Response (AMR) has agreed to immediately increase staffing and add ambulances in low call volume/high risk areas. Ambulances will be placed in two DeKalb County fire stations in Dunwoody and Stonecrest.
“The lives and safety of our citizens is our number one priority,” said DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond. “The agreement with AMR resulted from public feedback and numerous meetings and discussions during the past year with the county.”
Within 30 days, AMR will contract with a third-party ambulance service to provide additional resources. AMR will provide daily reports and will attend monthly review meetings with DeKalb County Public Safety leadership.
“AMR’s primary role is to provide emergency transport services,” said Director of Public Safety Jack Lumpkin. “DeKalb Fire Rescue’s primary role is to provide basic life support until an ambulance arrives. Fire Rescue units are usually on the scene within an average of seven and a half minutes.”
In DeKalb County’s integrated Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Fire Rescue units respond to the majority of medical calls and begin providing appropriate patient care until an ambulance arrives to transport the patient. All firefighters are certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and many are certified paramedics. This level of training is consistent with the crews of an ambulance service, which includes one paramedic and one EMT.
“It is important to understand the service level we require of ourselves and our transport provider,” said DeKalb County Fire Chief Darnell Fullum. “We continue to provide the highest level of integrated EMS service.”
Other elements of the agreement include:
– AMR will ensure that the hourly crew positions are fully staffed.
– AMR will provide staffing to increase the available ambulance units and reduce the incidents of no ambulances available for incoming calls.
– AMR will provide a revised Posting and Deployment Plan for review in 10 business days.
Attached is a detailed description of the agreement.
In early 2017, DeKalb County Fire Rescue leadership requested a mitigation plan to improve service delivery. After AMR consistently failed to meet minimum contractual standards, AMR was notified that the company would be penalized for noncompliance.
Starting in September 2017, more than $1.5 million in fines have been assessed by DeKalb County.
DeKalb County’s contract with AMR began in June 2013 and ends on Dec. 31, 2018.
DeKalb County is in the process of drafting a request for proposals for a new EMS transport services contract.
Here is a copy of the plan of action, provided by DeKalb County: