Dunwoody has declared a state of emergency, but not for weather related issues.
Instead, it’s for the county’s emergency medical services for its emergency medical services.
Dunwoody’s city council voted unanimously earlier this week to ask the state to let it provide its own EMS.
“It is a disaster,” said Terry Nall, a Dunwoody city council member. “It is akin to a natural disaster. This is a life disaster. So we owe it to our citizens to alert the state.”
Nall said that last week it took 58 minutes for an ambulance to show up after a 911 call.
“The response times particularly have deteriorated,” he said. “2016 they were bad. 2017 they were worse. 2018, thus far, they’re abysmal.”
Just days before the extended response time, an EMT was arrested after repeatedly punching a patient in the back of an ambulance.
Right now, DeKalb County provides EMS for Dunwoody and other cities in the county.
DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester acknowledged the troubles the county experienced with its EMS provider, American Medical Response, in an email to Nall.
“I do believe that it is widely acknowledged that the county’s 3rd party provider of EMS services, AMR, has not provided the level of service that they are contractually obligated to do,” Jester said in the email.
Neither the county nor the ambulance provider replied to WABE’s request for comment.