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SAN FRANCISCO: The fire department in San Francisco estimate that it would require almost $10 million in order to meet its state regulations regarding ambulances and paramedics.
Incidents of calls for assistance not being able to be met by the present service have increased by 500 percent since 2008 according to city supervisor and former Fire Commission member, London Breed.
MEDIC TO FOLLOW
According to a recent audit of services, it was noted that an increasing number of medical calls are classified “medic-to-follow”, when first responders arrive on scene but without a paramedic. They do eventually arrive on the scene, but times may vary according to Breed.
"They are happening an average of eight times each day. I have heard reports of patients being forced to wait 15, 25, even 40 minutes for an ambulance to transport them to the hospital," she said.
Supervisor Breed will raise the concerns at today's meeting of the Board of Supervisors and ask the Mayor, Ed Lee, if he intends to make more funding available in this year's budget. She also says that the fire department is well below the service level that it is obligated to provide under the “Exclusive Operating Area” with the state.
"Remaining out of compliance could seriously jeopardize jobs within the fire department, revenue to the department, and overall public safety," she adds.
The fire department say that it would cost them around $9.8 million to provide new vehicles and crews to meet those regulations, a figure that Breed says is likely high, as it does not account for the new revenue that increased emergency medical services capacity will generate.
"I have asked the Budget and Legislative Analyst to assess the net-net figure. Nonetheless, whether it is $4 million or $9 million, I think San Franciscans deserve a reliable emergency medical system".
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