An ambulance for Southwest Anchorage…
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Firefighters are fortunate here in Anchorage to receive overwhelming support from the public in regards to their public safety. The voters have proven this by passing almost all Fire Bonds in the last 10 years. In turn we have taken this support and created a proactive department that delivers some of the best pre-hospital care in the country. Our cardiac save rate continues to be one of the best in the US, as studies have ranked Seattle and Anchorage as the nations best in this category. Because of this we have been asked to participate is cutting edge medical studies. Companies have selected Anchorage to be a part of trial programs using our input to solidify the effectiveness of new innovative cardiac interventions. Adding an ambulance in the Southwest Anchorage would help us meet an increased need for service.
It has been apparent that the opening of a new medic rig in the Southwest Anchorage is several years past due, this after being delayed by past administrations. This is proven by a 4% increase in call volume in the last four years. We continue to manage this increase with only 7 ALS (Advanced Life Support) ambulances in the Anchorage Bowl. One other issue that we have seen with this increase is a shortage of ambulances on high call volume days, in turn delaying ambulance responses. This area continues to be one of the most dramatically affected. The 3 ambulances that serve the Jewel Lake and Sand Lake areas have responded to roughly 8,400 calls this year alone. Please keep in mind these response numbers also include calls in their own response areas, ultimately taking away ambulance coverage from Southwest Anchorage.
The leadership of the Anchorage Fire Department has, for years, asked for an ambulance bond in order to open Medic 7, this areas own medic rig. It is important to note that the individuals (Chiefs) who run this department have identified a need and have asked to go forward with a bond proposal which the Mayor has denied. If the current Chief no longer sees the merit in providing the citizens with an ambulance housed in the Jewel Lake Fire Station, as the Mayor sates in his Letter to the Editor (December 29), that is news to the entire Anchorage Fire Department.
Mayor Sullivan seems to feel the need to attack or blame union contracts for almost every issue that comes before him. For a person who needs an ambulance, that political sleight of hand doesn’t get them the care they need, when they need it. Mayor Sullivan campaigned on a platform supporting Public Safety and Quality of Life. The most important factor in quality of life, after a significant medical event, is directly effected by how quickly a patient receives medical intervention.
Mayor Sullivan; please resist hindering the democratic process and allow the citizens of Anchorage to exercise their right to vote to fund or not fund Medic 7 (Southwest Anchorage).