Fire chief defends Las Vegas ambulance responses

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LAS VEGAS (AP) - The fire chief in Las Vegas is insisting that all emergency calls in the city are handled equally, regardless of neighborhood or anticipated ability to pay for ambulance transport.

Fire Chief Willie McDonald responded Tuesday after a study paid for by private ambulance company American Medical Response accused firefighters of favoring patients from wealthy northwest neighborhoods while leaving inner-city hospital transports to AMR.

The report by Applied Analysis of Las Vegas also concluded that some residents in wealthier areas wait longer for ambulance transport due to delays contacting AMR.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1gEcyTO ) that McDonald called AMR’s claims completely false, but also said he hadn’t read the Applied Analysis report.

Since March 3, fire department paramedics have been first to respond to calls. AMR is summoned as needed.

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Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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