Yes and No. It is the policy of this department to transport the patient to the most appropriate facility for what is going on with them. We understand that a lot of people have doctors in Savannah, especially in the north end of the county, but over the last few months, all Savannah hospitals have been on diversion. What this means is they are not taking patients from ambulance services that have a complaint of not feeling well for a couple of days, twisted ankle, or other minor illnesses.
We can take you there, then our ambulance may be out of service for hours with you laying on our stretcher in the hallway waiting to get you a bed. This strains our system because the other ambulance has to cover the whole county and if that ambulance gets a call then there is no one available to answer medical calls.
Let’s look at it this way, one ambulance has been in Savannah for several hours waiting for a bed, the other ambulance is on another call and a call comes in for a family member having a stroke or a heart attack, both of these being time-sensitive in getting care, we have to find an ambulance from another county to come in, which takes more time away from the patient getting care.
So, if the personnel on the ambulance, says “we can not take you to Savannah, we need to take you to Brunswick” please be understanding of why they are saying this.
Isn’t it just as close to Savannah from the north end of the county as it is to Brunswick?
There is only a couple of miles difference between the two. But the ambulance can be back in the county and ready for a call in about 14 minutes from Brunswick where it will take about 30 minutes to get back from Savannah, if they do not get stuck in traffic, or have to wait for the hospital to accept the patient.