Starting today the El Paso Fire Department will institute a new policy for hospital transports. This change is supposed to improve the fire department’s service to the public by having more ambulances available for people who are seriously ill or injured. There are currently 23 ambulances in its fleet. In order to accommodate the transport of non-critical patients to hospitals outside of an ambulance's primary response area, the fire department will be making available two patient transport units as well as a mobile intensive care unit. These units will be in operation Monday through Friday from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. What people may see is if they call 911 for an ambulance and have a minor illness or injury, they will be transported to a hospital within the response area. If a patient prefers to be transported by ambulance to a further hospital, a transport unit or a private ambulance will be requested to transport the patient to their hospital of choice, based upon availability. This change in policy will allow Fire Department ambulances to be available for higher priority calls such as heart attacks and serious injuries.
By Trevor Connor - Anchor/Reporter
Monday, March 8, 2010 - 9:58am