Well, the Special Committee on Emergency Services turned out to be quite the little show on Thursday. It was going along pretty quietly--councilpersons Sharp, Curls, Ford and Riley in attendance along with Fire Chief Smokey Dyer and others--until Ed Ford had some things to add.
Ford represents the area of KC north of the Missouri River, where there have been some concerns about response times for ambulances. It seems that only 72% of the time is an ambulance making it onto the scene of an emergency call within 9 minutes. Mr. Ford had some issues for Chief Dyer.
The two of them went at it pretty strongly for a good period of time. Mr. Ford pressing the issue, and Chief Dyer denying that it was a real problem.
It was pretty plain by the end of the morning that the chief does not see this as a problem to solve. The chief goes back to three points: 1. He wants to concentrate on "patient outcomes" and not just response time as a measure of EMS effectiveness. 2. He does not see the problem being solved by using more personnel or going back to posting at non-FD sites. 3. He does see it as strictly a political issue, and feels "caught in the middle." 4. He thinks it is not worth spending more money except maybe to move a northland firehouse.
I understand where the chief is coming from in some ways, but appearing to shrug off the concerns of the Northland councilman was a very bad move for public relations. In addition, the only reason he is not hearing it about Southland response times is that John Sharp of District 6 is a champion of this dumb idea of merging MAST into the FD. And finally, response times have to be part of evaluation of performance, because in the true emergency (yes, there aren't that many of them, but each one counts for the patient!), time really does count.
Now, with regard to the numbers, I managed to obtain the figures from an assistant chief, who said, oh they are available on the website. I says, I looked and couldn't find. He took my email address and said he'd send the url. Any bets on whether or not I'll actually get an email with the web url?
Here, after the jump are photos of the actual documents. You should be able to read them after clicking on them to make them bigger.
The August Response times and other reports of KCFD activity. Click on image to make big; use the back button to return here.
Data for ambulance response times. ARD1 North; ARD2 Central; ARD3 East; ARD4 South
All calls in ARD1, the Northland. My lines are to make clear the 10 minute and 11 minute mark.