Fort Wayne Councilman concerned about dropping ambulance response times

(Jon Zimney/WOWO News)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Some issues with ambulance service response times in Fort Wayne are prompting one City Councilman to demand answers.

Councilman Russ Jehl tells our Partners in News at ABC 21 the city must address dropping response times as the Three Rivers Ambulance Authority moves to a two-tiered system to try and speed things up:

“It is important to bring all of our resources to bear as quickly as possible and so that needs to be flushed out because, literally, every week paramedics are leaving in search of better compensation. The only thing I am asking from the administration is to take aggressive leadership to bring all the parties together and address all the potential solutions,” Jehl said.

There’s a shortage of paramedics nationwide, thanks to a combination of a reduction of hours during the pandemic to mandatory overtime that has left the remaining workers burned out. Locally, ambulances have gone from arriving “on scene” within a specific timeframe 90% of the time last year to just 76% by this past May.

“We’re not aware of any patient care shortcomings as a result of manpower challenges experienced by TRAA,” said Mayor Tom Henry’s office. “The city’s future use of ARPA funds is in the process of being put together and additional information on ARPA will be forthcoming in the weeks and months ahead,” they added.

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