American Medical Response Improves Ambulance Response Times in Knoxville

American Medical Response (AMR) reports 80% ambulance response rate in Knoxville, Tennessee, after subcontracting dead body transport service. AMR also hires 200 EMTs and paramedics, increasing staff from 180, to improve emergency response times.

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Nitish Verma
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American Medical Response Improves Ambulance Response Times in Knoxville

American Medical Response Improves Ambulance Response Times in Knoxville

American Medical Response (AMR) has reported a significant improvement in ambulance response times in Knoxville, Tennessee, after subcontracting out a service that transports dead bodies. This move has allowed ambulances to focus on more urgent patients, resulting in an 80% response rate, up from the previous 60% to 70% range.

Why this matters: Timely ambulance response times are critical in saving lives, and improvements in this area can have a direct impact on public health outcomes. As emergency medical services continue to face challenges in providing reliable and efficient care, innovative solutions like AMR's subcontracting approach can serve as a model for other communities to follow.

The subcontracted service responds to non-emergency calls involving dead bodies, transporting them to the Knox County Medical Examiner. This service was previously handled by AMR, but is now outsourced, freeing up ambulances for emergency calls. The subcontractor is required to respond to calls within 45 minutes and picks up around 120 bodies every month.

AMR has also hired over 200 EMTs and paramedics, increasing their staff from around 180 six months ago. Joshua Spencer, regional director for AMR, stated, "It keeps ambulances available for other, more urgent, patients... I think we're making great progress in the first 90 days. More people on the team equals more ambulances in the community."

Despite the improvements, one local resident, Mitchell Bennet, reported a negative experience, stating that help never came after he called 911 for his son's emergency, forcing him to transport his son to the hospital himself. "My son could have died," Bennet said.

AMR is scheduled to provide its next quarterly update to the Knox County Commission in August. The changes implemented by AMR aim to address the critical issue of ambulance response times in Knoxville and ensure that emergency services are readily available to those in need. While progress has been made, the experience of Mitchell Bennet serves as a reminder that there is still room for improvement in providing reliable and timely emergency medical services to the community.

Key Takeaways

  • AMR's ambulance response times in Knoxville, TN improved 80% after subcontracting dead body transport service.
  • Subcontracted service responds to non-emergency calls, freeing up ambulances for emergency calls.
  • AMR hired 200+ EMTs and paramedics, increasing staff from 180 six months ago.
  • Despite improvements, some residents still report negative experiences with ambulance response times.
  • AMR to provide next quarterly update to Knox County Commission in August.