To the Editor:
Below is an e-mail that I sent to all Sumter District Commissioners this week regarding concerns involving ambulance response times American Medical Response (AMR). With Sumter County having a population of over 130,000 residents, all residents should feel concerned and unsafe with the current situation with AMR. I urge all Sumter County residents to contact the Sumter County District Commissioners (Gary Search, Doug Gilpin, Craig Estep, Garry Breeden and Oren Miller) regarding the slow response times by AMR.
Dear District Commissioners:
I am writing this e-mail out of concern regarding American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance response times in Sumter County. I have owned/lived in Sumter County for over seven years.
I am urging you to complete an in-depth investigation into AMR’s response times in Sumter County and to evaluate all of the facts. The District Commissioners have the responsibility to execute any needed changes to ensure resident safety. When evaluating the facts please keep in mind that emergency medical service units in the US average 7 minutes (in non-rural areas) from the time of a 911 call to arrival on scene (US National Library of Medicine – National Institute of Health). Emergency conditions (eg, cardiopulmonary arrest, severe bleeding, airway occlusion/obstruction, etc.) need proper EMS time response, paramedic intervention, AND prompt transport to a hospital. Even modest delays in response, intervention and/or transporting a patient to a hospital can be life threatening.
It appears that AMR is not providing their contractual obligations and changes should be made immediately. It is extremely disturbing to know that the relationship between the Public Safety Director and Assistant County Administrator Stephen Kennedy oversees the relationship between the County and AMS, since he is the husband of Mrs. Kennedy, who is the lead AMR employee (AMR Operations Manager) as it relates to the contract with Sumter County. This should be considered a gross conflict of interest and both parties should be removed from their role in this “work/reporting relationship” immediately.
There are many options that could be considered in replacing AMR altogether. Evaluating this should be the highest priority for the County Commissioners, as there is a duty and responsibility to ensure that the ambulance service utilized/contracted by Sumter County meets all expectations and contractual obligations.
Thank you for your time.
Village of Hemingway