Assembly Emergency Management Committee Holds Hearing on Statewide Ambulance Patient Offload Delay Crisis
(Sacramento, CA)- Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona) lead an informational hearing of the Assembly Committee on Emergency Management to discuss the critical Impact of Ambulance Patient Offload Delays on Emergency Response in California today at the State Capitol. These costly and unnecessary delays existed before the COVID-19 pandemic but have been deeply exacerbated by increased staffing demands and high hospital occupancy.
“When residents call 9-1-1 in a medical emergency, they expect that help will be on the way immediately and the hospital will be ready and waiting. It is unacceptable that right now this may not be the reality for everyone in our state. As a First Responder for over 30 years, I have seen these issues first hand and I am committed to working on both long and short-term solutions to alleviate the backlog. Today’s hearing showed that our processes are out of date and change will mean everyone comes to the table for solutions. As Chair of the Emergency Management Committee, I intend to introduce legislation focused at reducing wall times in California.” said Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez
“Wall times”, or Ambulance Patient Offload Delay (APOD), has been a hindrance within local EMS systems for decades and results in untimely access to care for patients experiencing a physical or psychiatric emergency. The ongoing pandemic has exacerbated APOD to a point it has never reached before. Not only does APOD result in untimely care for patients experiencing an emergency, but it also prevents ambulance personnel from responding to other emergencies. According to State data, each year roughly 70,000 Californians wait over an hour on an ambulance gurney between their arrival at the hospital and when their care is assumed by emergency department staff and finally moved to a hospital bed.