BOSTON - A serious shortage of ambulances in the city of Boston has prompted Mayor Walsh to assign a second ambulance to East Boston and increase the number of EMTs across the city.
Back in November, Boston 25 News highlighted the shortage of ambulances across the city of Boston and how those delays were putting people's lives at great risk.
While a shortage of ambulances is a widespread issue all over Boston, in Eastie specifically has only ever had one ambulance assigned to the entire neighborhood.
This is the one and only ambulance assigned full time to ALL of #EastBoston... and @BostonLogan. But @CityOfBoston @marty_walsh announcing plans to expand @BOSTON_EMS service and address shortages and response delays. @boston25 at 445/605 pic.twitter.com/oyGuAloeGQ— Jacob Long (@JacobLongTV) March 30, 2018
East Boston residents said the problem has been going on for decades, where the only ambulance assigned to the entire neighborhood is often times tied up at the airport.
"That's an ambulance that's not able to be deployed in the neighborhood quickly, so an ambulance has to come from Downtown Boston through the tunnel, traffic and all that over to the neighborhood," said Steve Holt.
In December 2016, Steve Holt said he called 911 after his 2-year-old daughter began to have a seizure, but the response was not as expedient as it should've been.
"From the time I called 911 to the time the first ambulance showed up, it was between 18 to 20 minutes," said Holt. "It was very scary and we were like 'where's the ambulance?' and certainly it could've ended very badly."
On Friday, Mayor Marty Walsh announced that, through a partnership with Massport, East Boston will be getting a second dedicated ambulance. He also announced the city is investing more than a million dollars to hire 20 new EMTs.
"This additional ambulance in East Boston and new EMTs across the city will help better serve residents, and will make our emergency response services stronger and more effective than they've ever been," said Mayor Walsh.
For Holt, while this is a positive step, he's worried it might not be enough to handle East Boston's rapid growth.
"We need to have the emergency resources on hand that can serve the population that lives here now but also over the next 20-25 years," said Holt.
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