Today Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and City Councilmember David Alvarez joined public safety leaders to announce that the ambulance unit recently added to serve San Diego’s South Bay neighborhoods has improved emergency response times by more than a minute.
The average response time for ambulances serving near the U.S.-Mexico border in May was 7 minutes and 6 seconds. That’s 61 seconds less than the same month a year earlier (8 minutes and 7 seconds).
“This is a big step toward improving the quality of life for all of our South Bay residents,” Faulconer said. “No matter where you live in San Diego, you deserve to feel safe. This new contract makes sure every neighborhood gets the emergency response it deserves. It’s the right thing to do. It’s how we create a unified city and One San Diego.”
One of Faulconer’s key proposals since taking office was to negotiate a one-year extension of the City’s ambulance contract with Rural/Metro Corp. It included several significant changes, including the extra ambulance unit for South Bay neighborhoods that have consistently been a hard-to-serve area of the city.
The City Council voted unanimously for the new emergency medical services (EMS) contract in April and the new ambulance went into service May 1.
“I was pleased to support the one-year extension to the contract with our EMS service provider, which adds an ambulance unit that will serve communities along the border,” Alvarez said. “The addition of this unit will improve response times and ensure our all of our neighborhoods receive the emergency services they deserve.”
The new unit – Medic 720 – is dedicated to the international border 12 hours a day from noon to midnight every day. It consists of one paramedic and one Emergency Medical Technician. In May, Medic 720 transported 69 patients to area hospitals from neighborhoods near the border. This new unit freed up the other ambulances in the area to respond to other calls, improving the overall response time for the area.
“Providing this additional ambulance during peak demand times at the border was the right thing to do,” said Michael Simonsen, Rural/Metro’s Director of Public Affairs. “This has allowed other units to be available for other emergencies, leading to improved response times in the area. We’re thankful to our elected City leaders and the Fire-Rescue Department for their continued spirit of partnership in providing exceptional emergency medical services to all San Diegans.”
The addition of this ambulance unit brings the number of ambulances serving San Diego’s South Bay neighborhoods to four.
—Office of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer