The Tracy Fire Department says lives have been lost and others are in jeopardy because it is being prevented from responding to all medical emergencies. The first responder in some cases can be a city or two away.
The Tracy Fire Department is in a battle to see who responds to all medical emergencies.
The first responder in San Joaquin County is AMR ambulance, not the fire department.
Tracy Mayor Robert Rickman says delays in response times have cost lives.
“The elderly lady was having trouble breathing, it took the ambulance approximately 19 minutes to arrive," says Rickman. "The reason for the delay of the ambulance was that there was no ambulance available in the City of Tracy and they had to respond from Manteca.”
County Emergency Medical Services Administrator Dan Burch counters that claim and says the fire department is called in cases where the delay is more than 10 minutes.
“We have no known incidents where a delay in ambulance resulted in a patient death, they’ve all been proven to be false,” says Burch.
Alice English has collected 3,000 signatures asking for firefighters to be on scene.
“They’re our first responders, they’re our safety net," says English. "Who is this guy taking our safety net away from us? Why is he playing Russian roulette with our lives, who’s next?"
Negotiations are underway between Tracy and the county over who should respond.