Calif. county's ambulance ‘no-fly’ list helps save millions of dollars
Fresno County is saving millions of dollars by not transporting people who have been identified as 911 “frequent fliers” who abuse the system
By EMS1 Staff
FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. — County officials created an ambulance “no-fly” list consisting of people who have been identified as abusers of the system.
ABC30 reported that Fresno County is saving millions of dollars by not transporting people who are considered “frequent fliers” that call 911 for an ambulance when they don’t need a ride to the hospital.
"Most people don't need ambulances routinely, so even 10 or 12 [transports] is a lot, but 25 will get my attention especially within a tight span of time," American Ambulance staff member Ken Katz said.
Fresno County EMS Coordinator Dan Lynch said people call for an ambulance ride to get to the other side of town every day. He said the issue came to a head in 2011 when two men were transported a combined 1,300 times.
The “no-fly” list consists of 16 people who call for an ambulance at least twice a month for three months. EMS providers are allowed to deny them transport if a real emergency is not apparent.
Officials said the people were given three warnings, and were added to the list after they kept calling.
Lynch said the county tries to connect the ambulance abusers with mental health treatment and social services.
"We want to get them help. We've always said we want to help them out of the system before we have to shut them out of the system," he said.