JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Action News has learned JFRD is getting more EMS calls then it sometimes has trucks to respond too.
One call to 911 and EMS trucks are headed to help. But Action News has learned Jacksonville Fire and Rescue just doesn't have enough rescue trucks to handle all the calls. Our cameras were rolling outside the Shands emergency room Monday. It looked crowded because EMS trucks were lined up and paramedics were very busy.
We found out why. JFRD has 34 rescue trucks. At 1:30 Monday, all 34 trucks were on calls. The union tells us there were at least three additional emergencies at the same time, but no EMS trucks could respond. We took that information to local parents and it's not sitting well. "That's insane," said one parent. "I don't like that," said another parent.
Fire officials tell us, it's more common than you think. They respond to 200 calls for help a day, most of which require rescue trucks. When each call takes around 90 minutes, fire crews admit it can be tough. Parents just want to know help will be there when they need it. "Absolutely, if I find out someone called specifically because they couldn't find their cat or other stupid reasons," said Kelley Urban.
Even if an EMS truck can't get to you right away, a fire truck will still respond to a 911 call. Some of them are equipped with emergency materials, but they can't transport patients to the hospital. A recent study by TriData suggested JFRD needs to add six additional full time rescue trucks to its fleet. The problem is, each truck costs upwards of a half million dollars. They say with tough economic times, it's tough to raise taxes even more to pay for trucks.