City Councilmember Dustin Hillis shares details as Atlanta prepares to launch its own ambulance service

Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital is preparing for an anticipated increase in demand following the planned closure of the Atlanta Medical Center in November.

Lisa Hagen / WABE

Each year, there are an estimated 240 million calls to 911 made nationwide. In Atlanta, although not exclusively, those calls can be followed by frustrating wait times for medical assistance – a longstanding issue for many residents.

“Police and fire usually get there very quickly, but there have been instances of people waiting an hour or 90 minutes plus,” said Dustin Hillis, an Atlanta city councilmember since 2017.

EMS times are only expected to worsen with the closing of the Atlanta Medical Center in November.

In a response to uncertainties on the upcoming closing and past complications with Grady EMS, Atlanta’s primary EMS dispatchers, Atlanta is taking action as the city prepares to launch its own ambulance service.

Hillis, who is also chair of the public safety committee, joined “Closer Look” to discuss the city’s next steps toward guaranteeing safety and efficiency to all Atlanta residents, including those who are hesitant as to what these changes have yet to bring.