I would like to address the issue of response times for our ambulance service.
Collier County states that they meet the standard of an 8-minute response time 94% of the time on Marco Island. This is second best in the County and much better than most areas in the County.
However, “the 94% response time” does not address several issues: 1. The County “deputizes” our fire department and the excellent times that are achieved are because first responders from the Marco Island Fire Rescue Department are able to reach the scene in 4 to 8 minutes. The Marco Island Fire Rescue Department’s lower response times are rolled into the county wide statistics which makes the county statistics look good. 2. The 94% response time does not take into account the amount of time our first responders must WAIT for a County ambulance because only a County ambulance has authority to transport a patient to the hospital. 3. There are frequent response delays during season. There have been as many as five calls within a few brief minutes. During season this happens all too often. 4. Finally, the County refuses to release “Delay in Transport” information when requested.
Our citizens deserve better. When our first responders arrive at a scene in 4 to 8 minutes, and it is determined that the patient needs to be transported, it should be done immediately, WITHOUT DELAY.
When an emergency happens, TIME IS CRITICAL.