SOUND OFF DELAWARE: Dover ambulance service

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It appeared as if Gem Ambulance was all set to receive a recommendation to become Dover’s new ambulance provider during the City Council of the Whole Meeting at City Hall on Aug. 28.

However, that was before Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen — also a lifelong first responder — spoke out and wondered if the Request for Proposal (RFP) sent out by the city was thorough enough in its evaluation of proposals for Dover’s ambulance services contract.

• In FY-17, our ambulance missed 18 percent, or one in five calls for service. This was not addressed in the RFP. Co-location of the ambulances in our fire stations was a recommendation in the consultants report. Here again, not in the RFP. More recommendations not addressed either. There seems to be a huge communications disconnect between city council, city leadership and staff. — Will Garfinkel

• I am not usually a big supporter of Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen, but have to agree he is right on the nose with this one. The mayor said, “I would hope that the highest level that they can attain is going to be attained.” I would rather pay for better service then be in jeopardy if something medically happens to me. Maybe (City Manager Donna) Mitchell should go back to the drawing board? — Ruth Hamilton

• Dover comes in close to 10,000 EMS calls a year. Those crews barely have time to get their reports completed before hustling out the door again. If the city truly wants better service they need to consider having two fully staffed units around the clock and a power unit during the day. As far as training goes, I can say that what is currently being provided is a solid 50/50 some techs are just better than others. Everyone that operates in an ambulance is required to be CPR/AED certified so even if things truly hit the fan those “just drivers” are still able to help out. This contract has been up in the air for years.

If you’re going to change providers just get it over with. If you want highly trained EMS people, then up the pay scale for them and put the employees in a respected work environment. I mean after all we’re all just ambulance drivers to the public regardless of training. If you want better services you should require additional training for employees in this new RFP! There’s so many factors wavering in what the city wants, but what’s really important is what the city needs. — Janet Michele Gentry

• I thought the new contract would have at least two ambulances with 24-hour coverage. If not it’s a huge mistake, Dover’s current EMS already can not cover the current amount of calls. Will the new company taking over be in box-type ambulances? I hope so. — Dan Stone

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