Private ambulances would handle medical calls under Wash. city mayor’s plan
Some say more people will die if firefighters are pulled from medical emergencies, while others say there will be no impact at all
By Michelle McNiel
WENATCHEE — When an elderly woman activated a medical-alert alarm in her Wenatchee home on Thursday, two medics in an ambulance and four firefighters in a fire truck arrived to help. They worked together to treat the woman, get her onto a gurney and wheeled out to the ambulance for a trip to the hospital.
That type of team response would change under Mayor Frank Kuntz’s plan to layoff eight firefighters by Aug. 1. The city’s two private ambulance companies would handle many non-life-threatening emergency medical calls alone.
Critics of the mayor’s proposal say people will die if firefighters are no longer responding to most medical emergencies. But others say there will be little or no impact to public safety.