Motorists know when they see a speeding ambulance in the rearview mirror to get out of the way.
Seconds count in a medical emergency. The sooner the ambulance reaches the scene or gets the person in the back of the ambulance to the hospital, the better the patient’s chances of survival or of avoiding serious injury.
Yet in Chatham County, EMS is currently in a constant state of emergency. Ambulance response times have steadily increased since 2020, reaching an average of 17 minutes, 30 seconds as of December 2022. Even those in dire need ― life-threatening emergencies ― are waiting 15 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.
This trend concerns local and state government officials. Meanwhile, the local EMS provider, a privately held nonprofit known as Chatham Emergency Services, is facing a bevy of challenges, including:
∙ A spike in service calls, including a growing number that officials label 911