Local News

Wake EMS To Selectively Use Ambulance Sirens

Posted August 12, 2002

— Ambulances go all out even for the most minor calls, but in Wake County, their sirens are about to be silenced in some situations.

Officials said by cutting the lights and sirens during non-emergency calls, they hope to make the roads safer for everyone.

Across the country, officials say there are about 12,000 crashes involving ambulances every year. So far, Wake EMS officials said they have been lucky. They have had 44 accident in 3 years, none of them fatal.

Officials believe the new policy means it will take paramedics longer to get on scene. Response times will increase by at least 1 minute and as much as 5 minutes.

It will be up to 911 dispatchers to decide if a call is an emergency or a non-emergency. They will ask the caller a series of questions, then dispatch the ambulance accordingly. The new policy goes into effect on Monday.

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