Firefighters Launch

Las Vegas, NV – North Las Vegas, Las Vegas and Clark County Firefighters want Southern Nevada residents to know that American Medical Response (AMR) and its subsidiary Medic West were late some 4,687 times in the first six months of 2010, according to the Administrative Oversight Committee for Ambulance Service Regulation.

     When firefighters tried to inform the public about AMR being late or unavailable for 911 calls, the billion dollar ambulance company threatened firefighters with litigation.

But compliance reports are clear; they indicate that AMR and Medic West have not met their 11 minute 59 second deadlines 4,687 times in the first six months of 2010 while AMR publicly claims they are “never late.”  AMR, a business segment of a Colorado-based billion-dollar corporation, Emergency Medical Service Corporation (EMSC), has local franchise agreements that explicitly state that the ambulance service provider must show up on-scene to an emergency in eleven minutes and fifty nine seconds or less ninety percent of the time.

     “Southern Nevada Firefighters want to make sure the public is protected and that they know the firefighters of Southern Nevada will always be there with a professional response,” said Dean Fletcher, president of the Las Vegas Firefighters Local 1285.  “AMR and Medic West Executive’s threats won’t stop us from letting the public know about AMR’s delayed response. Public safety is our number one concern.”

     The tipping point for Southern Nevada Firefighters came on a recent Sunday morning when 911 dispatchers were notified by AMR that no ambulances were available.  The “Service Level Zero” signal was sent out to all emergency workers throughout the valley notifying them of the situation.

     “AMR and Medic West’s staff on the street are not the bad guys,” said Jeff Hurley, president of the North Las Vegas Firefighters Local 1607.  “They are making the best of a bad situation that has been handed to them from AMR and Medic West executives.  We sounded the alarm and alerted the public because they have a right to know what is going on.  We believe that AMR and Medic West executives owe the public an apology.”

     The first print advertisement from the Southern Nevada Firefighters appeared in the Monday, October 4 edition of the Las Vegas Review Journal.  A Web site has been launched in conjunction as part of the informational campaign.  On the site visitors will be able to review official compliance reports from the Administrative Oversight Committee for Ambulance Service Regulation.  Additionally, visitors will have an opportunity to listen to the official 911 audio recordings where AMR notifies emergency dispatch that they do not have ambulance services available.

     It is important to remember that public safety was never compromised as all of the Southern Nevada fire departments are EMS transport capable and always able to response to medical emergencies.  However, AMR and Medic West needs to communicate clearly with 911 emergency dispatch when the they are unable to respond to emergencies.