Wednesday, February 26 2014, 07:03 PM EST
Ambulance Shortage in Sequatchie County
Sequatchie County gets 5 emergency calls, on average a day.
Usually, they can handle the volume of calls, but for one woman and her boyfriend, they could not.
She ended up driving half way to Chattanooga to meet an ambulance.
She called 911 dispatch several weeks ago from her car. When the call was made only one was working a 24 hour rotation, and there was one back up ambulance on-call. Usually, there are two 24-hour trucks.
911 dispatch directed her to the EMS parking lot to meet them there. But the backup was not ready.
"We're spread out and very rural. We could easily be on 2-to-3 different calls and wouldn't have the personnel to handle that type of thing," said Keith Cartwright, the Sequatchie County executive.
This is the reality of a small town when there are limited resources, but officials are hoping that changes.
They are bringing in Erlanger to run an emergency room, and Puckett EMS to handle ambulance calls.
Sequatchie County has been working for almost five years to get the hospital to open an ER. They say it will cut down on response times significantly.
"We will have an enhanced ambulance service, which is all positive and good for the citizens here," said Cartwright.
Sequatchie County EMS Director said there was a break down in communication that should not have happened in the incident.
He said the dispatcher should have followed proper protocol, and called a supervisor.
But, the director of the county's Emergency Communications District, believes her dispatcher did the best he could with a difficult situation and used critical thinking to get the patient safely to a hospital.