News and Events

What’s the longest you have waited for an ambulance?

An Oklahoma City fire company transported an injured child in the fire engine after deciding they could no longer wait for an ambulance.

Read the article, Is fire engine transport ever the best choice for an injured child?, on EMS1.

When I was an EMT in far northern Wisconsin sometimes we waited 20 or 30 minutes when we decided a patient either needed ALS at the scene or to meet our BLS ambulance on the way to the hospital. Prolonged patient care, I suppose, is relative to geography and what seems normal. Spending 20 minutes with a patient that doesn’t have life threatening injuries doesn’t feel abnormal to me, but in an urban area with high call volume and high resource expectations a 5 minute wait might be agonizing.

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.