To the Editor,
I'm saddened to report that I am once again disappointed by our local emergency services. Someone slipped on the ice this morning (Tuesday, Dec. 18) where I work and went down hard; hard enough we called the ambulance.
We aren't more than three miles from the hospital in Madras. It took right at 20 minutes for the ambulance to arrive on scene. Two years ago, I was shocked and surprised when they were unable to find an address in rural northeastern section of the county. Surprised because they were unfamiliar enough with the area that they couldn't find the address (it's their job to be familiar with all areas of the county and respond efficiently) and shocked that not only would they not stop at any of the several houses in the area that they passed and ask for help, but they did their best to ignore the people who were trying to chase them down and help them find the address they needed.
Once you have seen them go up and down the road a couple of times, you know they are lost! Sorry, we weren't trying to violate any HIPAA laws, just help them find the address they needed so they weren't driving up and down the road while someone was possibly dying.
However, back to today: there is simply no reason that an ambulance in the city limits of Madras should require 20 minutes for a response. It should not require multiple calls from the requesting location to see if the ambulance is coming, and it was certainly unexpected when, about 10 minutes into the wait, someone (not sure if it was the hospital or dispatch) called to check and see if we really had an emergency situation.
Is this our local response, or is this an effect of moving our dispatch out of county? Either way, in my opinion, unacceptable!