‘Shaving seconds off’ of emergency response time with mayor’s plan

Posted at 8:17 PM, Mar 14, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--The last thing one expect when calling 911 is to be put on hold, because in an emergency, seconds count.

But it could happen to any Richmond resident.

Right now, callers are put on hold because there are two 911 call centers in the city.

One handles fire and police calls, and the other handles medical emergencies.

Right now if you called for an ambulance you might have to be transferred from one 911 line to another, and it would take, on average, about six minutes for an ambulance to get to you.

Mayor Dwight Jones wants to end the need to transfer certain emergency calls.

A proposal in his FY 2015 budget would create a standalone department to handle 911 calls for the city, and put its headquarters at the Richmond Ambulance Authority on Hermitage Road.

The idea is to create a direct line and eliminate the need to transfer your emergency call for medical assistance.

The plan is expected to reduce the ambulance response time by a minute and 20 seconds...

The plan would utilize money already set aside for emergency services.

But there are other items in the budget that will cost you as a taxpayer.

Your monthly utility bill could increase by an average $6 a month.

You can read more about the mayor's budget here.