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Ambulance company steps in to help paramedic shortage in Sunnyvale

An ambulance company is helping Sunnyvale with the city’s lack of paramedics.

The fire and police departments in Sunnyvale have no paramedics on staff due to the city’s public safety model. In addition, there is a countywide paramedic shortage.

“Several weeks ago we sounded the alarm regarding paramedic and ambulance response times,” Sunnyvale Public Safety Officers Association President Lt. Devon Klein said.

On Tuesday, and after NBC Bay Area’s initial reporting of the issue, an ambulance company said it is coming in to help.

In Sunnyvale, firefighters also serve as police officers for part of the year. But no one on the force is a paramedic, which means first responders arriving on the scene can not provide some life-saving treatment and have to wait.

Crews said the issue is exacerbated by the county’s widespread ambulance and paramedic shortage.

“A paramedic officer is able to deliver life-saving medication, has advanced cardiac monitoring and can initiate advanced airway intubation,” Klein said.

After NBC Bay Area’s reporting on the issue, the ambulance company, AMR, reached out to the fire and police union.

The union said AMR will now provide two full-time paramedics solely to the city of Sunnyvale, with AMR footing the bill.

AMR provided the following statement:

“Ensuring quality and timely patient care is a core value AMR shares with Sunnyvale police officers and firefighters, and we are pleased to have worked directly with them and the County EMS agency to provide additional paramedic resources to address emerging needs.”

Susan’s Donuts on Lawrence Expressway applauds the partnership.

“For me, I think it’s good,” said Sophia Yann with Susan’s Donuts. “So if anything happens we can call someone for help.”

The chief of the Department of Public Safety told NBC Bay Area he is meeting with AMR this week and reiterated that he has every intention of working with the county, which runs emergency services, to find a more permanent solution.

“It’s now up to our DPS leadership as well as our top city administrators to pick up the ball from here and carry it across the finish line,” Klein said.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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