A report put out by the Kern County Department of Health Thursday shows Hall Ambulance's response times don't meet standards.
Emergency responders are required to respond within certain, area-specific times at least 90% of the time. The report, which can be found here, shows many areas do not meet that 90%. Two of the worst regions are the Wasco/Lost Hills area and northeast Bakersfield all the way to Glennville. Northeast Bakersfield had the worst ongoing issue last year, with 11 of the 12 months of 2017 not meeting the 90% requirement.
Hall Ambulance says they've been working to fix the problem, hiring 42 new employees and buying 25 new ambulances.
A big problem, according to Hall Ambulance, is out of their control. They experience a delay when dropping patients off at hospitals. First responders are required by law to wait until a patient has been checked into a hospital before they can leave, but they say they're experiencing more delays because hospitals can't take patients in.
A representative from Hall Ambulance speaking to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday said this issue is getting worse. He said in November 2017, 221 drop-offs took more than an hour. In December 2017, there were 466 delays longer than an hour. It continued to worsen in January 2018, when 784 drop-offs took longer than an hour. Hall Ambulance says by tying up first responders waiting at hospitals, it leads to less ambulances available to respond to new calls.
According to Brynn Carrigan with Public Health Services, the State passed a law in December 2016 saying hospital drop-offs should take 20 minutes.
After the year of poor response times, the Department of Public Health will be publishing monthly reports on their website.