To ensure service, the DeKalb fire-rescue agency dispatches its own units initially to most medical calls because the county’s firefighters are all certified EMTs, and many are paramedics. The average response time for the fire-rescue units is seven minutes and 37 seconds, county officials said.
DeKalb is planning a bidding process for a new provider and is taking “reasonable steps” to address the issues and avoid legal action, the county said.
The controversial video that emerged last week came from body cameras worn by Dunwoody police officers, who were on the scene when Deannah Williams allegedly struck the 17-year-old in the face. She was supposed to be transporting him for an evaluation.
American Medical Response said it took the situation seriously and that the worker accused of hitting the teen was no longer with the company.
But Dunwoody officials had already been considering how to improve service. Part of the concern came from two recent responses by the company: one that took 36 minutes and another that took 58 minutes.
Response times by American Medical Response in south Fulton County also recently led officials there to seek another provider. The company has said it's appealing the decision to instead hire Grady to handle EMS in the area.
Dunwoody’s appeal for relief, which is still being drawn up, will likely be to the state department of health’s EMS council. The health agency has regional boards made up of fire chiefs, doctors and others to oversee EMS across Georgia.
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