Philadelphia’s Failure

Ambulance Science Podcast: Philadelphia’s failure to fund EMS forces “meat wagon-tactics” by police, while surgeons ignore the real problem, say Scot Phelps and Maria Werner.


Key Points:

  • Philadelphia Fire EMS is severely underfunded, with a unit-hour utilization of 1.0, meaning they’re busy 100% of the time, leading to a delayed response time
  • As a result, critical penetrating trauma patients are transported by police, without any care, in the back of prisoner vans to trauma centers
  • But rather than advocating for more ambulances, especially in this era of limiting police scope creep, surgeons consistently try to justify the police transport model

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