Hawaii medics file anonymous complaint raising safety concerns with new ambulances

Paramedics said the new vehicles have not been appropriately retrofitted and are putting the crews’ and patients’ safety in harm’s way


By EMS1 Staff

OHAU, Hawaii — More than half of Oahu EMS's ambulances are under repair, and new ambulances have been taken off the road after paramedics filed an anonymous complaint detailing the safety issues with the emergency vehicles.

State Labor Department officials found no safety violations on the new ambulances, according to KHON 2. However, paramedics filed an anonymous complaint stating the new vehicles have not been appropriately retrofitted and are putting the safety of emergency crews and patients in harm's way.

EMS Chief Dean Nakano said the agency deployed two new ambulances because so many ambulances were out of commission. Two-thirds of the ambulances have over 200,000 miles, but the new ambulances have overheating issues, and the oxygen tanks were not tied down properly.

"We were out of spare ambulances and we were gonna put a couple of the crews on the SUV so we decided to deploy two of them," EMS Chief Dean Nakano said.

A statewide review of all EMS systems will be released by the end of the year. Nakano hopes it brings to light the ambulance shortage and the resources they need to operate. Last year, the state health department approved a $46 million budget for EMS, but officials had requested $55 million per year.

 

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