What’s Working: The Sprint Medic Program

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — When emergencies happen, a fast response time is critical.

A partnership between the Jackson Fire Department and American Medical Response is saving valuable minutes in downtown Jackson.
Jackson Fire Division Chief Cleotha Sanders says preserving life is the Jackson Fire Department’s No. 1 priority. Now there’s new tool to help them do just that, on 24-hour shifts, in the most crowded part of the Capital City.

It’s outfitted with almost everything an ambulance has. It can’t transport patients, but this Sprint Medic Truck is built for speed.

Jackson Fire Chief R.D. Simpson says, “It enhances our response time in the downtown area. We’re able to have medics that are right here.”

During the daytime, Woodrow Wilson South to I-20 and South Prentiss Street is the most crowded part of Mississippi’s biggest city.

Since the truck sprinted into action, it’s averaged more than 10 calls a day. AMR dispatches the truck and an ambulance at the same time. The Sprint medic gets there in an average of two minutes and eleven seconds. The ambulance and its Medic arrive an average of almost 5 minutes after that.

Jim Pollard, who works in public affairs with AMR explains why that is so important.

“The brain begins to die for lack of oxygen when the heart stops beating, or you can no longer breathe in four to six minutes. So that 4 minutes 45 seconds can truly make a difference between life and death,” he said.

AMR does not charge for sprint medic service unless the Sprint Medic does more than assess vital signs, and the patient then declines to be transported by ambulance.

A second Sprint Medic truck is likely on the way for Jackson. It will serve the Northern part of the city.

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