By Tom Henderson • Staff Writer • 

Fire chief addresses ambulance response times

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I am thankful for the quick service MFD provided when we lost our child. They were compassionate, kind and professional. I understand the need for timeliness but I also know that these men and women see so much pain and death that it causes high turnover and PTST for our first responders. Thank you all for all you do!


Long past time to privatize the McMinnville Ambulance Service.

Outrageous fees, despite tax payer's steady infusion of cash, and now they expect their tax paying customers to wait more than 20 minutes for service?

I would be McMinnville has the highest ambulance rates in the state, and even that is not enough.




What the chief actually said was:

"McMinnville residents may have to wait occasionally more than 20 minutes for an ambulance, Fire Chief Rich Leipfert said, but not in life-threatening emergencies. Delays usually occur when there is a non-emergency transport of patients, he said. Even then, Leipfert added, paramedics can still arrive on the scene faster."

Did you miss the "occasionally" and "non-emergency?"
What evidence do you have to suggest local rates are the highest in the state, or even above the state average? For all you know, they could be the lowest in the state. Just because you bet something, which amounts to taking a guess, doesn't make it true.
What evidence do you have that privatizing the service, thus factoring in a profit margin and what's best for business decisionmaking, would possibly improve service or cut rates? Where is this proving true anywhere in the country?
Finally, what has caused you to develop such animosity toward the McMinnville Fire Department and its ambulance operation? They seem to be very highly regarded in most quarters.
Your call to privatize seems to come out of thin air and be based on even thinner air.


Not in life-threatening emergencies? Last summer I was listening to the scanner when a Newberg ambulance was dispatched to a cardiac arrest in McMinnville. They were canceled but only because a McMinnville ambulance was on the Dundee bypass and slightly closer...

You say that the current contract only calls for 2 24/7 ambulances but that you have 3. The contract you’re referring to is 15 years old and just because it hasn’t been updated, doesn’t mean that it still reflects the needs of the city, county and the citizens you serve.
Newberg’s contract also calls for only 2 ambulances but they now have 3 to serve 30% less population than McMinnville and a lot less square mileage.
If they can justify 3 shouldn’t you be able to justify 4?

You also say the plan is “working the way it is designed to work.” While according to the 15 year old contract it is, how can you logically and with a straight face say that TVFR backing up McMinnville 196 times in 6 months is a smart, functional and mutually beneficial way of doing things? How many times has McMinnville assisted Newberg in the last 6 months? Since you didn’t bring it up in the interview, I’d put my money on zero.

Also, Newberg and the surrounding area recently voted for a substantial tax increase to secure better fire and ems resources. Now their tax dollars are going to McMinnville to supplement their lack of resources.

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