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How Long Is Too Long To Wait For An Ambulance

Stat EMS Facebook Page

There has been a lot of talk lately about a football injury on the Lake Fenton High School football field on Friday, September 27th, and the amount of time it took for an ambulance to arrive.  Some say it took as long as 45 minutes, as the injured player lay motionless on the field the whole time. He was conscious and breathing, and his injuries were not life threatening.

So what exactly happened? I had a chance to sit down with Marc Lund, CEO and President of Stat EMS to get his take on what happened. Marc and I both graduated from Lake Fenton High School, so what played out last Friday hits home for both of us.

I remember an ambulance being on hand at all of our high school football games, so my first question was why there wasn’t a unit standing by.  He told me that while they don’t have a contract with University of Michigan, or Flushing, Stat EMS is at, and gets paid to be at each of their games.  What he said next shocked me.

Fenton, Linden and Fenton Township were all a part of a consolidated tri-municipal contract that cost the participating governments absolutely nothing.  However Fenton Township, where Lake Fenton High School is located, opted out of that collaboration.  Thus, there is no ambulance on the premises until one is dispatched via Genesee County 911.

When they were dispatched, their closest unit was in Fenton.  Because it was a tier two, or non-life threatening call, the ambulance was not allowed to use lights and sirens.

“We drove with the flow of traffic, and it took us, instead of 13 minutes, 17 minutes to get there.”

Marc confirmed that it was 17 minutes from the time they got the call until they arrived on scene, not 45 minutes like the coach is claiming.  Had Fenton Township not opted out of the agreement, the ambulance would have been on the premises when the injury occurred.

Stat EMS, which opened on April 11th, 2001 with four employees and one truck, now has a fleet of 70 vehicles and 270 employees.  Stat is the only UAW ambulance company in the state of Michigan, only union ambulance company in Genesee County.  The contract provider for the Genesee County Medical Examiner’s office and Hurley hospital, they also have contracts with Genesee and Mount Morris townships as well as the cities of Fenton and Linden.

They are also encouraging more and more governments and schools to take an active role in identifying who their provider is going to be.  When it comes to the safety of the students, or anyone else on site during a football game, why wouldn’t you take advantage of having ambulance services on hand when it costs absolutely nothing?  Leave your comments below.

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