City’s EMS options include keeping AMR, expanding RFD

EMS Service Evaluation

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The City of Rochester is considering eight options for its emergency medical services.

The recommendations are based off of a report made to the City and AMR, the City’s current ambulance provider, 11 months ago. It was commissioned three years ago and put together by Fitch Solutions.

The report was made public over the weekend. AMR’s contract end-date is in November 2024.

“Fitch’s evaluation has presented our team with an objective perspective of our current emergency medical response system,” said Mayor Malik Evans in a statement. “We have already begun identifying ways to add to and maximize our current resources to improve emergency health services to city residents.”

One potential option is to have the Rochester Fire Department provide all transport services. Right now, RFD provides basic life support for the most critical patients until AMR arrives.

It’s worth noting this report comes at a time when AMR is already under investigation by the City after an incident in which a patient was left unattended. In November, a man who was struggling to breathe was asked to leave an AMR ambulance after medics called police about a “situation” on the rig. The man collapsed on the ground and was down for two-and-a-half minutes before anyone noticed. He died two weeks later.

When it comes to response times, one recommendation in the report is to modify when the timer starts for EMS calls. Sometimes, AMR is called to a scene, but if it hasn’t been cleared by police, they can’t enter it right away, so that worsens the response time on paper.

Deputy Mayor Michael Burns say Rochester officials are reviewing the recommendations.

“Some of them will take time to come to fruition. Some will require significant budgetary commitments. So we’re looking at that right now as we are in the midst of developing our budget for the upcoming fiscal year,” he said.

Burns added:

“The biggest thing the public should take away is this is really a priority for our administration – as is transparency. We wanted to make sure this report was out there, that the public has the opportunity to see the same things that we’ve seen.”

The full report is available below:

EMS evaluation by Colleen Farrell