Monroe County

Injured firefighter had to wait over seven minutes to get an ambulance

Rochester, New York — On Monday night, in a home fire on Greig Street, two people were injured and hospitalized, and one  firefighter was also taken for treatment and is on the mend.
According to the Firefighters Association they had to wait over seven minutes to get an ambulance for a firefighter suffering from a rapid pulse and heat exhaustion, and such a long delay is unacceptable. The City of Rochester said Tuesday, the firefighter was treated on-scene and the transport wasn’t an issue, ambulances were there.
“They realized that he needed to go to the hospital and we didn’t have an ambulance,” says Eddie Santiago, President of the Rochester Firefighter’s Association. He says this is not about the EMTs, he says they do a phenomenal job.
“It’s just a situation where ambulance crews are not paid well,” he says.
Santiago also says the ambulance crews are overworked and overused, “And corporate doesn’t want to do anything about it.”
The City said today they are:
“…looking into this matter with AMR. However, it is important to note that the injured firefighter was treated on-scene and an ambulance was available to transport him at any time as needed. In addition, the Rochester Fire Department will conduct a study of ambulance service in the City as proposed by Mayor Warren in her 2021-22 budget to ensure anyone who needs help receives it quickly and efficiently. This study will include our firefighters and our community as it moves forward.”
The ambulance on-scene was treating someone else. “The minute they started working on that other person, another one should have been dispatched,” Santiago says.
According to Santiago  solution here could be a fire-based EMS service, and help take the stress off the system. “About 90% of our firefighters are EMTs. But there’s only so much equipment that we have that we can do. We can’t transport,” he says.

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