DeKalb County Funds $3.8 Million Plan to Improve Countywide Emergency Response Time

April 26, 2024
1 min read

📊 The Gist: DeKalb County has committed $3.8 million to strengthen emergency medical services, inspired by the success of a new model in Dunwoody which slashed response times by 32%.

📝 The Details: In a significant move to enhance emergency response across the region, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners approved a substantial $3.8 million allocation in the 2024 budget. This funding will enable the addition of 15 emergency medical technicians and paramedics, five nurse practitioners, and five ambulances. Concurrently, the county is implementing a $5 million cutting-edge Emergency-911 phone system.

An evaluation of DeKalb County’s emergency medical services system is currently being conducted by Fitch & Associates, recognized nationally for their expertise in these systems.

🚑 The Dunwoody Model: Dunwoody, under the leadership of Mayor Lynn Deutsch and the City Council, has emerged as a pioneer within DeKalb by opting into a contract amendment with American Medical Response, dating back to 2019. This partnership, specifically targeting enhanced ambulance services within the city’s boundaries, has trimmed emergency medical services response times significantly.

Data shows a drop from a 14:10 minute average response time during the period of September 16 to December 14, 2023, to a 9:35 minute average post-implementation, from December 15, 2023, to April 12, 2024. Dunwoody currently invests $566,000 annually for this enhanced service, available during peak hours from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

🔍 The Big Picture: The strategic investment in DeKalb County’s emergency medical services infrastructure is part of a broader trend of local governments enhancing emergency response capabilities through technology and staffing improvements. This aligns with national movements aimed at reducing emergency medical services response times and improving the overall quality of emergency healthcare services.

📈 Why It Matters: Efficient and swift emergency medical services response is critical in emergency situations where every minute can be the difference between life and death. In DeKalb County, response times have historically been high and the county has struggled with its ambulance service for years.

🗓 What’s Next?: The review by Fitch & Associates is expected to yield further insights into potential areas of improvement for DeKalb County’s emergency medical services system, which could lead to additional refinements and investments in the coming years.

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