August 8, 2013
Hempstead Village: EMT service Change Improved Response Time
By Aisha Al-Muslim
The Village of Hempstead cited improved response time and reduced police overtime in marking the end of its first year of contracting with North Shore-LIJ Health System’s Center for Emergency Medical Services to provide emergency services and medical transportation for the village.
For years, the village was dependent on Nassau County Police Department emergency medical technician services. One EMT would respond when village police called for Nassau’s EMT services, requiring a village police officer to drive the ambulance to the hospital because the EMT had to assist the patient.
Last year, the village board signed an agreement with North Shore-LIJ to deliver round-the-clock service at no cost to the village, after Mayor Wayne J. Hall Sr. complained the process put a strain on the village’s police department. The hospital bills a patient’s insurance company $400 to $600, depending on the services provided in the ambulance and the distance traveled to the hospital, Hall has said.
“The EMT partnership with North Shore LIJ has allowed the Village to provide quality lifesaving emergency medical services without taking our police officers off our streets,” Hall said in a statement. “It has greatly improved response times and benefited taxpayers by reducing police overtime expenses.”
Since the partnership began, there have been 5,827 calls with 5,384 people transported to area hospitals. The average response time improved to less than five minutes.
Hall said in the statement that the village estimates it saved between one and one-and-a-half hours “of police time for each and every call, resulting in a total of more than 7,000 police-hours in total.”