BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Statistics from the State Department of Health showed Blair County ambulances having the second fastest response time in Pennsylvania.
The Altoona Mobile Emergency Department, or AMED, handles at least 80 percent of emergency calls in the county.
“Our goal is to be out the door responding to the call within one minute,” AMED Executive Director Gary Watters said.
The key to their low response time, Watters said, is being ready.
“Speed is not necessarily a factor in response time. It changes your responsive time by typically seconds more than minutes. The preparedness part is the biggest part of the response,” he said,
The average response time for Blair County’s EMS is just over 7.65 minutes, coming only behind Delaware County’s time of 6.71 minutes.
In the end, Watters said getting to the patient as quickly and safetly as possible is the most important goal.
“Time saves tissue. It saves cardiac tissue. It saves brain tissue. That makes a big difference,” he said.
AMED is also working towards building a new facility in the near future. They’ve had some road bumps with cost and environmental issues, but Watters said they want to continue to be a solid partner in the community.