HATTIESBURG, MISS. - The sound of an ambulance siren symbolizes help is on the way, but
how long will it take for help to arrive?
AAA Ambulance Services in Hattiesburg developed a new study to cut down on the amount of
time it takes for medical personnel to arrive on the scene of an emergency.
"We don't sit in a station and wait on a call," AAA Ambulance Services' Chief of Information
and Technology, Andy Geske said. "We will dynamically deploy an ambulance to our red areas
and our purple areas because we are expecting a call there."
AAA Ambulance services use a statistical map to predict where and when accidents occur in
numerous locations across the Pine Belt.
"It's like a heat map or a weather map," Geske said. "It starts with green, yellow, red, and
purple. The hotter it gets the more likely you are to have a call within that area."
AAA Ambulances sit in these hot spots waiting for an accident to happen, so they can quickly
jump into action.
"So, they sit on the side of the road... so you see them sitting at intersections, you see them
sitting at minute marks, you see them sitting at different parking lots and big areas... and they're
actually waiting on the next call.," Geske said.
By sitting on the side of the road where an accident is predicted to happen EMS is able to cut
down their response time significantly. So, when you call 911, somebody is already on the way.
"My dispatchers for instance, have a time limit of forty-five seconds to dispatch an ambulance
call," Geske said.
After dispatching a vehicle that is already in close proximity, help shows up in less than 10
"Our average response time in the city of Hattiesburg, for instance, the urban area we try to be
there in less than nine minutes, and we meet that goal about eighty-five to eighty-eight percent of
the time," Geske said.
This is six minutes faster than the nation's average response time of 15 minutes. It is a process
that happens constantly throughout the day.
"On a Monday through Friday for instance, we will top two-hundred calls, and you average that
out on a monthly basis it's about one-hundred-ninety calls a day over a month's period of time,"
AAA Ambulance Services says this process is important when it comes to making sure everyone
in the community is kept safe.
"It's invaluable," AAA Ambulance Services' chief of operations, Chuck Carter said. "What we
do everyday... most of the time parked on the side of the road waiting, but the things we do save
So, when you see an ambulance on the side of the road, don't think that they are goofing off or
not doing their job because they might be in the right place to save the next person's life.