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EMS and fire companies could implement more low-key response to less urgent calls in Md.

New responce time determinats, ranging from one-six

HARFORD, Md. — Harford residents who call 911 with a less-than-life-threatening situation could soon see a proportionately less intense response: an ambulance or fire truck without the full flashing-lights-and-sirens show, or the accompanying traffic disruption.

The county's Emergency Operations Center plans to coordinate with local fire and ambulance companies within the next few months on a new way of labeling emergency versus less serious calls.

The center said the new system, which follows a national protocol, will help improve traffic safety and reduce accident rates for first responders. "It allows fire and EMS [providers] to better utilize their resources," Tami Wiggins, training division supervisor at the 911 center, said Tuesday. "Nationally, one of the things that this is used to help is to prevent vehicle deaths. Currently that is the second leading cause of death for fire and EMS [personnel]."


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