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Akron-area fire departments asking emergency rooms to take over care of patients faster

Posted at 12:59 PM, Jan 21, 2022

AKRON, Ohio — Fire departments in the Akron area have asked emergency rooms at local hospitals to take over care of stable patients within an hour so EMS crews can get back on the road and respond to other calls as soon as possible.

It's a new policy between the Akron Fire Department and the Summit County Fire Chief's Association. The policy resulted from talks between first responders and hospitals in the Akron area, according to Lt. Sierjie Lash of the Akron Fire Department.

Lash said the policy is "a local response to a nationwide concern. We are all dealing with COVID." The policy is designed "to decrease wait times and put crews back in service for the next 911 call."

News 5's media partner, The Akron Beacon Journal, said wait times at local hospitals reached a "crisis mode" last fall.

Firefighters told the ABJ that ideal wait and transfer times for patients are between 20 to 30 minutes, but actual wait times have drastically increased due to the pandemic. In some cases, first responders waited up to two hours before a patient was transferred and EMS could be cleared to respond to other calls.

The call for a 60-minute wait and transfer time doesn't impact individuals receiving life-saving care. It's designed to cut down on the wait for EMS transporting patients that are stable, the ABJ reported. Any first responder engaged in active life-saving patient car will still remain with the patient for as long as it takes the hospital to take over.

You can read more about this from the Akron Beacon Journal, here.

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