Backyard Buzz – Paying for an Ambulance on Skidaway Island
Has The Landings Association explored the feasibility of paying for ambulance service dedicated to Skidaway Island only?
Yes. At this year’s Annual Meeting, your Landings Association heard from a resident requesting Chatham Emergency Services (CES) station an ambulance on Skidaway Island. TLA spent several months researching the topic, including multiple conversations with this resident. Recently, the Association has heard from a couple of residents asking about the outcome of our research, and we wanted to provide an update.
As you may know, the Association pays ~$50,000/year to Chatham Emergency Services (CES) to ensure an on-island Paramedic 24/7. That Paramedic can administer drugs before an ambulance arrives. This is a higher service level than is specified in Chatham County’s contract with CES for emergency services, and a higher service level than CES provides anywhere else in the county. This allows the Paramedic and First Responders to arrive in emergencies on Skidaway Island around 40% faster than the CES emergency response time to off-island locations. In other words, the average off-island emergency response time is 10 minutes and 32 seconds, whereas a run by our on-island Paramedic to an emergency is an average of only 7 minutes and 19 seconds.
How much would a dedicated ambulance on Skidaway Island cost?
In conversations with CES, the cost to station an ambulance on island starts at $330,000/year, and that amount will rise with inflation.
Would other stakeholders be willing to help cover the cost?
To date, no other island stakeholders have been willing to contribute to the costs of the Paramedic, much less the ambulance. This is true even though CES statistics show The Marshes of Skidaway and Thrive account for more than half of all ambulance transports. This means that the burden of this additional expense would fall solely on Landings Association members. However, it would not preclude other island residents from using the service.
But wouldn’t having a dedicated ambulance on Skidaway Island guarantee that a resident in need would receive faster service?
No. It is important to note that even if an ambulance were staged on island, there is no guarantee it would be available when a call from a Landings resident came in, as another call could already be in progress. In fact, this was the unfortunate situation that occurred and which led a resident to inquire about having a dedicated ambulance on island.
This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website. Visit landings.org to read the original article. https://landings.org/news/2022/10/07/backyard-buzz-%E2%80%93-paying-ambulance-skidaway-island