Buffalo seeing ‘major improvements’ to ambulance response times

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – It’s no secret that ambulance response times in the city of Buffalo have been a sore subject over the years.

But city officials say that’s changed since American Medical Response has taken the helm.

“The company has improved response times by over two minutes and is consistently delivering on-time performance across all areas of the city of Buffalo,” said Mayor Byron Brown.

Brown says AMR, the city’s exclusive ambulance producer, has made significant investments in terms of additional resources and upgraded technology.

“These response times are the best we’ve ever documented in the city of Buffalo,” Brown added.

News 4 has done numerous reports in the past detailing lackluster ambulance response times in certain emergency medical categories.

At one point, it prompted the city to put AMR, formerly Rural Metro, on notice that it was out of compliance with the contract.

But that was then.

Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield says “dramatic” progress has been made over the last several months.

“This was not an easy task, but it’s one we are very proud of today,” said Whitfield.

“The contract is what we abide by and we’re seeing that over the last six months they have met that marker,” he said.

For its part, AMR has allocated additional resources to the city, hired more than 100 medical professional and upgraded technology to include a computer-based system that allows for real-time resource monitoring.

“In mid-2016, such high-level service and complete contract compliance would probably have been characterized as a pipe dream. Today, it is reality. City ambulance service is now the best it’s been in decades,” said Thomas Maxian, AMR regional director.

He says the company plans to implement a two-way data communication link between Buffalo’s ambulance dispatch and AMR.

“The link will replace an antiquated dispatch procedure and allow us to streamline the two-way communication delivery of information,” Maxian added.

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