YOUR VIEWS Letters to the Editor

Poor response time

Sunday evening I witnessed a situation that I believe should be brought to the attention of the Georgia Tech community to hopefully encourage some sort of action to be taken. At an intramural basketball game at the CRC on Sunday, a player sustained a major fracture to his lower leg. Trained CRC personnel rushed to attend to him while several people dialed 911 and the campus police. His injury was so severe that an ambulance was definitely needed to transport him to the hospital.

About five minutes after a call had been placed, a GTPD officer arrived, and walked at a speed that did not seem rushed to the far side of the gym where the player was. A half-hour after the officer arrived, an ambulance arrived preceded by another GTPD officer, neither with lights flashing or a siren on and both minding the speed limit. It took the EMS a while to stabilize the injured player, and forty-five minutes to an hour after the injury occurred, he was being wheeled off the court on a stretcher.

The amount of time that it took for the ambulance to arrive was a concern to many there. When we asked an officer on the scene about their response policy he said: when 911 or the Georgia Tech police are contacted, both an ambulance and a Georgia Tech police officer are dispatched. When the initial officer arrives they assess the situation and determine whether an ambulance is really needed. They then contact the ambulance in route and let them know whether to continuing coming or not. When the ambulance arrives to campus, an officer must meet them and escort them onto campus to the scene.

As close as Georgia Tech is to Grady and Crawford Long, I find it hard to believe that the ambulance took as long as it did if they left when the initial call was made.

If an ambulance is dispatched and then called and told to turn around, money is lost. My thought is that the ambulance never left until the officer arrived and told them to come, in which case, he did not seem to be moving quickly enough to the scene as he strolled across the courts.

The CRC personnel did an excellent job tending to the injured player. They acted professionally and were obviously trained well. The response time was not near fast enough. I believe that the policy involving the dispatch of an ambulance to campus needs to be reviewed. If this was a matter of life or death, I could only hope things would happen at a faster pace to ensure the best outcome.

Sarah Eubanks

Fourth-Year Management