Rapid Response Medic Unit Begins Mā’alaea Service

November 1, 2013, 10:06 AM HST · Updated November 4, 6:26 AM
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AMR Rapid Response Unit Paramedics. Danh Richardson (L), David Kingdon (R) and Kapena Hill (lower right). Courtesy photo.

AMR Rapid Response Unit Paramedics. Danh Richardson (L), David Kingdon (R) and Kapena Hill (lower right). Courtesy photo.

By Wendy Osher

A new Rapid Response Vehicle paramedic unit is now in service at Mā’alaea on Maui, enabling improved response time to medical emergencies in the district.

“There is no question this Rapid Response Unit will save lives and stabilize patients in the crucial initial stage of injury, illness, or cardiac arrest,” said American Medical Response Operations Manager Curt Morimoto.

AMR, the emergency ambulance service provider for Maui County, added the vehicle upon passage of Senate Bill 498, which was introduced in response to population growth, depleted resources, and long response times from other areas.

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An estimated $600,000 was appropriated for the service in June to fund the acquisition of the vehicle, and cover equipment and personnel costs for the next two fiscal years of operation.

Prior to the addition, medical response to emergencies in Mā’alaea came from Wailuku and Kīhei, costing “critical minutes” in life and death situations, said AMR officials.

The 2014 Ford Explorer is staffed by a paramedic 24-hours a day, seven-days a week, and is equipped with lifesaving emergency medical equipment.

“The RRV Paramedic will be able to get to patients quicker and stabilize them while waiting for the ambulance to arrive and transport,” AMR officials said.

In October, AMR officials say the unit was assigned to 79 cases–19 that required ambulance transport; and 33 that were standby calls to incidents in West and South Maui.  The remaining cases were cancellations or represent patients who refused treatment or transport, officials said.

American Medical Response provides emergency ambulance services throughout the state, and employs more than 250 emergency medical professionals.

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