More Talk About More Ambulances
For years, Cincinnati officials have known the city needs more paramedics and/or more ambulances. A study released more than two years ago showed nearly 300 people called 911 for help in the city during a six-month period in 2004 and found no ambulances immediately available.
After the 2003 on-duty death of Firefighter Oscar Armstrong, the city hired TriData to study the fire department overall and suggest improvements. TriData recommended, among other things, increasing the number of ambulances from 10 to 14. To do that, it would have cost the city an additional $2 million a year in staffing costs alone for those ambulances.
Now, the city still has 10 ambulances, but is working to train more paramedics and was recently accredited for doing so. Doing it in-house will make that process faster and less expensive, said city spokeswoman Meg Olberding.
Channel 9 recently did a sweeps month story on this topic, prompting responses from both Councilman Jeff Berding and Councilman Cecil Thomas. Berding asked Thomas, chairman of the Law & Public Safety Committee, to hold a hearing on the issue. Thomas said he'd already put that in motion, asking Fire Chief Robert Wright to come to Law's Feb. 26 committee meeting to talk about it. The committee meets at 2 p.m.